Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way
Gustavo Perez Firmat

Gustavo Pérez Firmat, profesor de la Universidad Duke, hace referencia al impacto producido por Frankie Marcos y el Grupo Clouds en el Sonido de Miami, específicamente con relación a la introducción de sus progresistas arreglos de metales en este movimiento musical.

The author "analyzes Cuban American popular culture as represented in the efforts of writers and entertainers from actor/bandleader Desi Arnaz through singer Gloria Estefan and novelist Oscar Hijuelos." (Libr J) Index.

Frankie Marcos & Clouds - Pages

From the Publisher
From Desi Arnaz and 'I Love Lucy' to Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, Cuban-Americans have conga'd and mambo'd their way into the hart of popular culture in the United States. This engaging book, which mixes the author's own story with his reflections as a trained observer, explores how both famous and ordinary members of the '1.5 Generation' (Cubans who came to the United States as children or adolescents) have lived 'life on the hyphen, ' neither fully Cuban nor fully American, but a fertile hybrid of both.

From the Critics
From P.I. Rose - Choice
Perez Firmat (Spanish, Duke Univ.) offers an engaging look into the process of becoming what the Cuban American sociologist Ruben Rumbaut calls the '1.5' generation; those born in Cuba who were brought to the US as children and came of age mainly, though not exclusively, in south Florida. Where Rumbaut has stressed the problematic aspects of such 'marginality,' Perez Firmat emphasizes the advantages of being bicultural. Those about whom he writes know the 'enduring fiction' of their motherland and, he claims, have little difficulty in reconciling that with the society in which they live. Such ideas are developed in a uniquely constructed series of chapters/essays and interchapters thatoffer 'a verbal mambo,' a brief and brassy transition. The book combines thepersonal insight of a 'one-point-fiver' with a rich and vivid portrayal of fellow Cuban Americans and their culture and character--and iconography.

From Publisher's Weekly
From Desi Arnaz, arguably still the most famous Cuban to hit U.S. shores, to current pop star Gloria Estefan, Cuban Americans have had to balance life within two cultures, one representing their past, one their present and future. While acknowledging that a Cuban presence has flourished in the U.S. for more than 400 years, Perez Firmat directs his attention toward what it means to be a Cuban American in the second half of this century, when a recognizable ``hyphenated'' culture has emerged. Firmat, who teaches Spanish at Duke, seamlessly weaves both personal observances and scholarly analysis of television programs, such as I Love Lucy , music, literature and movies to prove his point: that members of the ``1.5 generation,'' those Cubans who came to the U.S. as children or adolescents, are neither fully Cuban nor fully American, but a dynamic combination of both. Exploring in-depth the art and lives of several Cuban American cultural icons, including Arnaz, author Oscar Hijuelos, poet Jose Kozer, musicians Estefan, Perez Prado and Jon Secada, as well as the mambo and conga dance crazes, Firmat vividly demonstrates how Cuban Americans, while battling assimilation and regression, have greatly enriched popular culture in the U.S. Photos. (Aug.)


Table of Contents

  Introduction: The Desi Chain 1
  Mambo No. 1: Lost in Translation 21
Ch. 1 I Love Ricky 23
  Mambo No. 2: Spic'n Spanish 46
Ch. 2 The Man Who Loved Lucy 48
  Mambo No. 3: Desi Does It 77
Ch. 3 A Brief History of Mambo Time 79
  Mambo No. 4: The Barber of Little Havana 103
Ch. 4 Salsa for All Seasons 104
Mambo No. 5: Mirror, Mirror 134
Ch. 5 Rum, Rump, and Rumba 136
  Mambo No. 6: English is Broken Here 154
Ch. 6 No Man's Language 156
  Conclusion: Last Mambo in Miami 181
  Notes 183
  Index 209
Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way
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Gustava Perez Perez Firmat,Gustavo Perez Firmat / Paperback / University of Texas Press / July 1994
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