In their introduction to this three-volume A-to-Z encyclopedia, editors Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sanchez Korrol define Latinas as an umbrella term that refers to all women of Latin American birth or heritage, including women from North, Central and South America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. This compendium covers Latinas in the United States from the 16th century to the present, including not only Latina biographies 600 of them but also related events and topics ranging from the Communist Party, the El Paso Laundry Strike and the Friendly House of Phoenix, Arizona, to street vending, World War II and West Side Story.
The Introduction sets out an historical overview of the U.S. and its Latinas in different regions of the country. Some 230 scholars had a hand in creating this encyclopedia, for which research began in 1998. Each entry is signed by its author and concludes with see-also references and a list of sources. Three hundred black and white photographs of individuals, groups of people, and buildings give faces to the names and places.
Each volume has a table of contents of the set. Volume Three ends with a list of biographical entries by profession, such as art, education, politics, etc. A three-page bibliography of Latina history including books and journal articles, then notes on the contributors and an index. Meant for scholars and general readers, this is a great resource on Latinas and historical topics connected with them.
Vicki L. Ruiz is professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies at the University of California at Irvine. She is the co-editor of the up-coming book American Dreaming, Global Realities: Rethinking U.S. Immigration History (June 2006), co-authored with Virginia Sanchez Korrol of Latina Legacies (2005), co-author of Created Equal (2002), co-author of Pots of Promise (2004), editor of Las Obreras (2000), and author of Unequal Sisters (2000), From Out of the Shadows (1999), Cannery Women, Cannery Lives (1987) and numerous articles.
Virginia Sanchez Korrol is a historian and professor in the department of Puerto Rican and Latino studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is the co-author of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage (2000), author of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (1999), Teaching U.S. Puerto Rican History (1999), and co-editor of Historical Perspectives on Puerto Rican Survival in the U.S. (1996).