Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras) NEIGHBORS: ORAL HISTORY FROM MADERA CALIFORNIA, VOL.2
There are all sorts of history books. Some are based upon numbers from old records, others discuss ideas and some review facts. This book is based upon testimony. Called oral history, it begins with an interview which is then transcribed. . . . All subjects had the opportunity to edit factual errors and/or omissions.
Numbers can offer insights. For instance, Madera has been a Hispanic town for decades. According to the 2015 U.S. Census estimate, more than three quarters of the inhabitants were Hispanic (79.8%). Nearly one third (32.2%) were born in another country and of these, the vast majority were born in Latin America. At time of this printing (2020), more than half of the population speaks Spanish or Spanish and English. Only about one third speak English only. The population is younger, less educated and much poorer than the California average.— Lawrence F. Lihosit
Neighbors: Oral History From Madera, California, Volume 2
by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77)
“A great treasure for many future generations.” Independent Book Publishers Assc.
“The best of its kind in print.” Chuck Doud, Publisher of the Madera Tribune
“Like Volume 1, the author offers real-life stories by citizens of Madera, California. It seems like they speak directly to us, seated at our kitchen table, waving their arms while laughing. This is a must read for those interested in the California Central Valley.”
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I have not yet read Volume 2. But, Volume 1 was excellent. I echo the compliments already posted. Anyone interested, not only in the Central Valley of California, but in the historic migration of people from Mexioo and other countries South and their relationship to this community should read this book. It should be a must read for sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and political scientists. Congratulations to Lawrence!
These volumes (a 3rd in preparation) are a major achievement and a primary resourse for the study and illumination of the great central valley of California through this powerful series of oral histories and in particular of the Madera city and hinterlands all the way up from Fresno through Sacramento. I have travelled in this area over many years now since I moved to California (San Francisco) in 1970.
As one of the proofers of Volume 2, I was pleased to help Lorenzo with his latest of sixteen and soon to be seventeen books. I used his, “Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir” to write my own, “Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond”. He obviously knows the Central California area and history well, especially Madera where he now lives. I totally agree with the publisher of “Madera Tribune”, “The best of its kind in print. Like Volume 1, the author offers real-life stories by citizens of Madera, California. It seems like they speak directly to us, seated at our kitchen table, waving their arms while laughing. This is a must read for those interested in the California Central Valley.”
The oral histories of the local population, which is almost 80% Hispanic population–almost a third of which were born in Latin America and speak Spanish, is extremely timely given the misinformation and vilification of refugees from our neighbors to the South. The author also deals with local issues like the depletion of the local aquifer and the access of water. Definitely an important book for those interested in Central California and an excellent model for other authors who want to research and highlight communities where they live. The assorted maps and graphics enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the area as well.