"In such explosive times as ours, it is rare to discover a novel that captures fanaticism in all its extremes and tells a story as thrilling and vibrant as Raul Ramos y Sanchez's AMERICA LIBRE. Future and history collide in a cautionary tale of a new Civil War on American soil. A must-read for all, no matter where you draw your line in the sand."
James Rollins - New York Times bestselling author
"Sanchez's debut is a sweeping, intense novel of extremism, fear and consequences. In Los Angeles in the near future, tensions run high between Hispanics and Anglos, especially after the death of an innocent Latina bystander in Texas sparks nationwide riots. In need of a job, ex-Army Ranger Manolo “Mano” Suarez joins La Defensa del Pueblo, started by wealthy Ramon Garcia to foster Hispanic unity in the face of Anglo violence. Despite his wife's growing reservations, Mano and the group are able to turn Hispanic gangs into allies against a common enemy. As violence and fear escalate—and are manipulated — “Quarantine Zones” and camps are created to segregate Hispanics from the general population. Mano, who dedicated his life to patriotism, sees his own country turn on him because of his heritage, disregarding his value as an individual. Originally self-published, Ramos y Sanchez's ambitious, cautionary tale poses questions without easy answers, but its flaw, ironically, is the lack of diversity, with all the characters being either Hispanic or Anglo."
"It has been a long time since a book can move a person to think, get angry, or, feel empathy with the characters. This is one novel that does all three."
"Populated with unforgettable characters, this book will haunt me for a long time to come."
Beverly J. Rowe - MyShelf.com
“America Libre is a well-conceived, well executed, cautionary tale about the deterioration of civility and the encroachment of terror in America as its people try to strike back at perceived enemies without first figuring out whether the "enemy" struck first—or at all. As the story unfolds, it deftly points the finger of blame at all of us who believe we are beyond thinking in stereotypes and reacting fearfully to them. ‘How far would you go to protect the ones you love,’ America Libre seems to ask, ‘from what you might allow yourself and your country to become?’”
Rebecca Coffey - Writer, filmmaker and radio host
similar to T.C. Boyle’s enormously popular The Tortilla Curtain
(1995), Raul Ramos’s America Libre is a story of what we all struggle
with when we decide where we stand on the issue of immigration. This is
a fast-paced novel that although written in 2004 suggests some eerie parallels
with contemporary US politics and policies. In this apocalyptic vision
of a nation driven to civil war by deep fissures in the American ethnic
melting pot, Ramos subtly suggests parallels to other moments in American
history from the race riots in the urban ghettoes early in the century
to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Ramos knows
US culture and history well and offers readers yet another perspective
on what it means to be an American in the ethnically diverse landscape
of the 21st Century. This is a novel that is sure to appeal to readers
concerned with future-oriented thinking. It is a first novel that promises
J. Mullen Ph.D. - Catherine Paine Middlebush Chair
Professor of Spanish, University of Missouri-Columbia
“Any spark can ignite violence when justice is continuously denied.
Ramos's scenario of U.S. Hispanics taking up arms to fight for their dignity
gives us Manolo Suarez, an honorable man whose radical conversion provides
insights into the hopes and disappointments of the U.S. Latino experience.
America Libre creatively provides the reader with a window into the despair,
brought about by racism, faced by many of our Hispanic neighbors."
De La Torre, Ph.D. - Director of the Justice and Peace Institute,
Iliff School of Theology
“An engaging, fast-moving story of love, intrigue and personal and
ethnic conflict, wrapped in rich, thought-provoking political and cultural
W. Slatta, Ph.D.– Professor of History, North Carolina State
“This is a thoroughly evil book. This is not literature; this is a La Raza fantasy of the ‘reconquista’ – a Chicano nationalist movement that seeks to retake portions of the United States in the name of Hispanic racial and social justice. It is hate and an invitation to cold-blooded murder in the name of hate.”
“I loved the book and found it intriguing and mentally stimulating. America Libre is one of thebooks to read this 2009, so make sure you have it on your list.”
Mayra Calvani, Examiner.com Latino book reviewer
“The blend of human struggle with social, historical, and political
perspectives is a good mix. The characters are well developed."
John Woods - Adjunct Professor, University of Dayton
“I found the topic timely, and the message timeless. While
most people will pick up this book for the action, they will walk
away with much more."
"This is the kind of book that jumps alive in your hands. It whispers to you of love and compassion, and shrieks at you from the depths of hatred and confusion. In dealing with the immigration issue this book is certainly timely, but I believe its greatest value actually lies in the wonderfully uncomfortable way in which it shatters the over simplification which plagues most of the world's problems - that there is simply good and bad, right and wrong, Latino and Gringo. What a great gift this author has given us in these pages, where innocents become enemies, heroes disappoint and hope kindles in dark places. As much homage as this book pays to the Latino cause, it also beckons to the broader human cause: Let us all be aware of the slippery slope that constitutes our perspectives and judgments. Let us all treat with reverence the complexity of our community. And let us all think twice, even thrice, before we decide our choices. Read it, and most importantly, read it well!"
"Let me tell you what... It's well written. It's believable. It's touching. It's fast moving. It's thought provoking. It's scary. It's one of the best books I've ever read!"
Elizabeth T. Neas
Frankly, when I first picked up America Libre I didn’t know what to expect. I suspected it might be very militant and inflammatory in its perspective; a call for violent revolution. But actually, quite the opposite is true. America Libre is a passionate cry for tolerance, understanding and moderation. Raul Ramos y Sanchez’s saga is a plea for justice and sanity…and perhaps most of all, a sobering cautionary tale. It urges us all to remember the genuine principles upon which our great nation was founded. The book is also one helluva read. The characterization is rich and complex, and the story takes the reader on a pulse-quickening and frightening journey into an American heart of darkness that becomes disturbingly more plausible with each passing day. The lead character, Manolo Suarez, is a man who has served his country honorably only to find a world gone mad in which there are virtually no options left for him and his family. The gut-wrenching choices he is forced to make serve as the crux of the novel. America Libre is a landmark, thought-provoking work. The novel raises a red flag. And it reminds us that if we do not remain vigilant, that flag could someday turn out to be red, white and blue. I urge you to read it. And think about it.
“Mano is a very appealing mix of strength, intelligence,
and most importantly, a family man of unwavering moral committment."
“A well written story which projects one of America's gravest
social problems to a realistic & fateful conclusion. A good,
James L. Adams
I, being of Puerto Rican descent, born and raised in New York and having served in the military, have experienced much of what the main character (Manolo) experienced. One need only take a look at the current events in relation to immigration and english-only bills to relate the story. The Latino experience in America is compelling enough in itself and this book explores and points out several issues that all Latinos share, whether born in the U.S. or not.
Efrain Ortiz, Jr.
"As a poli-sci major I'm a pretty hard sell on military and political thrillers; but I would stack this up against a Uris or Clancy novel. Considering current immigration laws springing up across the US (Oklahoma and Vermont) and rising public temperatures regarding illegals - all aimed at Latinos; America Libre feels more like historical fact than a possible future. The book feels current and it's carefully crafted step-by-step "how to start a revolution" makes it more than believable; and more than a little scary."
“America Libre is a real page-turner and I'm looking forward to the next book. Immigration is a timely topic, and Raul Ramos Sanchez illustrates realistically how ordinary people and whole societies can fall into violence.”
“If you like Clancy novels, you will probably like this one too. I think this book may become a best-seller and it would also make a great movie as well (as other reviewers in this space have suggested). This is a thriller with kind of a unique twist in that it is told primarily from the perspective of revolutionaries. It's very believable. I also like the fast paced writing style.”
Elliot B. Kennel
“Raul's book opened my eyes to the real possibiities of an American immigration policy that deals with numbers and not with people. In the country where 9-11 happened, this could be the next crisis if the issue of immigration - legal and illegal - is not addressed. This is a great, if not unsettling, read that rings eerily possible.”
“America Libre has a great story line, with excellent characters. I have already given my copy to a friend and have sent other friends to the website to purchase it. To me this book flowed a bit like a Tom Clancy Novel, (which is a huge complement to Raul - since Tom Clancy is one of my favorite authors). The basic conflict comes from a plausible scenario that could stem from current events. The characters are real people that you grow to love and want to learn more about them. As a result, I spent a few late nights ripping through this book to see how Mano & Jo would gain back their freedoms. The ending surprised me which was very enjoyable and as with any great novel I was left with this feeling of, "’When does the next novel in this series come out?’"
Allan A. Coulson
“Senor Ramos y Sanchez wrote a ‘novel of a national nightmare’ that we all hope will never come to fruition. Immigration rallies are in the news today and our country and current administration continue to ignore the issues. What will happen? America Libre is a fast paced book with characters that are well developed and real. The last third of the book was a real page-turner. It will make a great, action-packed movie.”
A. L. Barr
“Very intense from the first page to the last. The author makes you feel like you are right there in the middle of it all. I actually flipped forward a few pages occasionally because I couldn't wait to read what was next. Two weeks later, I still think about the story and am planning on reading it again. Highly recommended!”
“The current fervor over immigration and the potential for the abuse of power is brought to the forefront in America Libre. The story provides an insight into the disenfranchised of this country, and how one man in his struggle to provide for and protect his family is still willing to confront the tragedy and injustice of bad policy and human cruelty, and inspire a movement of epic proportion. Mano can not turn his head from that which turns his stomach, nor can America. America Libre is a must read to keep fresh in our minds and hearts that love and virtue must outlast selfishness and greed.”
finished your book -- one of the most compelling, most thought-provoking
around! Thanks for a suspenseful and meaningful read!!!"
AMERICA LIBRE by Raul Ramos y Sanchez introduced me to an amazing new author. What a surprising book! I thought this was never going to be "my kind of book". I read lots of genres but this seemed too military/warlike/history for me. Was I wrong!
America Libre...great book! Something that seemed an impossibility, suddenly became very possible!!! Although I've always been extremely skeptical about such a scenario occurring in the US, I can see how quickly something like this could happen. It's a captivating book and certainly thought provoking.