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Josè Vasconcelos

The Prophet of Race

Ilan Stavans

Publication Year: 2011

Jose Vasconcelos was a controversial Mexican scholar who fostered an alternative view of the future. In Jose Vasconcelos: The Prophet of Race, his influential 1925 essay, "Mestizaje"- key to understanding the role he played in the shaping of multiethnic America-is for the first time showcased and properly analyzed. Ilan Stavans insightfully and comprehensively examines the essay in biographical and historical context, and considers how many in the United States, especially Chicanos during the civil rights era, used it as a platform for their political agenda.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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p. ix

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pp. xi-xiv

José Vasconcelos’s La raza cósmica (The Cosmic Race), a book explaining why mestizos are called to create a balanced, harmonious civilization that will dominate the world in the twenty-fi rst century and beyond, remains enormously influential in the Spanish-speaking world as well as among Latino...

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The Prophet of Race

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pp. 1-44

In a letter written in Madrid dated May 25, 1921, Alfonso Reyes, man of letters and author of the classic Vision of Anáhuac, considered to be the dean of Mexican intellectual life in the first half of the twentieth century (Jorge Luis Borges described Reyes as “the most accomplished stylist of the Spanish language”)...

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pp. 45-90

In the opinion of prominent geologists, America contains some of the most ancient regions of the world. The Andes are certainly made of material as old as any on our planet; and not only is the land ancient: the traces of life and of human culture are also of an age that exceeds all our calculations. The architectural ruins left by our fabled Mayas, Quechuas, and Toltecs...

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The Race Problem in Latin America

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pp. 91-111

Many theories have been advanced as to the origin of the old inhabitants of this New World. The discoveries of Professor Hrdlicˇka, relating to strong similarities between a certain Siberian tribe and the North American red Indian, may be entirely correct, but they do not exclude the possibility of the existence of some more autochthonous stock...


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pp. 113-121


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pp. 123-124

About the Author

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p. 125

E-ISBN-13: 9780813551043
E-ISBN-10: 0813551048
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813550633
Print-ISBN-10: 0813550637

Page Count: 142
Illustrations: 1 photograph
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 775302258
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Josè Vasconcelos

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Vasconcelos, José, 1881-1959. Raza cósmica.
  • Mestizos.
  • Mestizaje.
  • Cosmology.
  • Latin America -- Race relations.
  • Vasconcelos, José, 1881-1959 -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • Vasconcelos, José, 1881-1959 -- Philosophy.
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