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June 23, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

MUY MACHO: Latino Men Confront Their Manhood edited by Ray Gonzalez (Anchor: $14; 232 pp., illustrated, paperback original). The 16 authors in this anthology grapple with the question of what it means to be a Latino male in contemporary America. They condemn the cult of machismo, which has barred fathers and sons from expressing their love, taught abusive attitudes toward women and led young men to adopt antisocial behavior to gain acceptance. Novelist Rudolfo Anaya summarizes the tone of the collection when he reflects, "Perhaps the old macho image has to die when it does not engender the community. The essence of maleness doesn't have to die, it merely has to be understood and created anew."

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