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Finalists for the 1992-1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes : CURRENT INTEREST

September 05, 1993|MARJORIE LEWELLYN MARKS | Marjorie Lewellyn Marks is manager of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and a contributing author of "Life Guidance Through Literature" (American Library Assn.)

MEXICAN AMERICANS: The Ambivalent Minority by Peter Skerry (Free Press/Macmillan). The ambivalence that Skerry, a UCLA political science professor, refers to is the state of mind in which immigrant Mexican Americans find themselves as they ponder their identity in their new American homeland. Because of fundamental changes in our political institutions in the post-civil-rights period, today's Mexican Americans, unlike peoples in previous great immigration waves, are responding to mixed signals that he contends are "tutoring Mexican Americans to define themselves as a victimized group that cannot advance without the help of racially assigned benefits." Skerry addresses the implications of these changes for the integration of the poorly educated, tradition-oriented immigrants arriving here today, as well as for Americans generally.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists and winners are selected in each category by an independent panel of judges. Winners will be announced in the Book Review issue of October 31.

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