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Friday, July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021: Expanding Histories: The Squatter and the Don

[July 17th marks the 200th anniversary of the transfer of Florida from Spain to the U.S. The history of that addition is much more complex than that one date suggests, however—an idea which could be applied much more broadly as well. So this week I’ll highlight a handful of texts that can help us engage more accurately with the fraught, multi-layered histories of U.S. expansion, leading up to a weekend tribute to one of the best scholarly resources for doing so!]

I’ve made the case in a number of prior posts and pieces for why we should better remember and read the Mexican American novelist and activist Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton and her historical novel The Squatter and the Don. One main reason is that she and the novel alike help us better locate Mexican American communities and histories within our understanding of US expansion, so for this post I’ll direct you to a handful of those prior pieces:

1)      This post for the American Writers Museum blog on why we should all read The Squatter and the Don (1885);

2)      This one for HuffPost on why Donald Trump in particular should read it;

3)      This one for CNN framing Ruiz de Burton as part of my book We the People’s arguments on exclusion and inclusion in American history;

4)      This one as part of a trio of Saturday Evening Post Considering History columns on Mexican American stories and texts;

5)      And this one for the blog, pairing Squatter with George Washington Cable’s The Grandissimes (1881).

Scholarly tribute this weekend,


PS. What do you think? Expansion texts or contexts you’d highlight?

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