News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Monday, May 14, 2007

The "Marxican" is in the eye of the beholder

The extremist blog VDARE ran a “review” about my novel, America Libre, titled “Marxican Insurgency Imagined" by Brenda Walker. Herewith is the gist of the article:

"… the fictional work by Raul Ramos y Sanchos, [sic] America Libre, about a near-future time in which Mexican squatters act out in a civil war. You can read the first chapter online, and it is mercifully brief.

Well heck, what can a [sic] Aztlan commie do but be revolting? Apparently an armed insurrection follows with the men in sombreros being the good guys. Right.

Incidentally, Mexicans have a country that could do with some revolutionary activity but they don’t seem much interested in reforming the society which they profess to love."

The response I emailed to the writer:

Ms. Walker,

Thank you for spreading the word about America Libre, although I think you may have jumped to several faulty conclusions about the novel.

First, the Hispanic separatist characters in the story are not exclusively Mexican, nor are they Marxists. In fact, contrary to your derogatory comment about “the men in sombreros," the leader of the separatists is a blue-eyed blonde from Uruguay named Josefina Herrera.

The “Marxican” label is particularly inappropriate in my case. I am a Cuban refugee who came to this country fleeing communist oppression in 1961. Today, I am a partner in a business that employs over thirty marketing professionals. Hardly the resume of a Marxist. And for the record, my complete last name is spelled Ramos y Sanchez, not “Sanchoz.”

I welcome a frank discussion on any of the topics in America Libre. It is a cautionary tale about the dangers of extremism on BOTH sides of a volatile issue. I hope it inspires reasoned debate. At the same time, I would expect that any valid criticism of my work be based on fact rather than knee-jerk conjecture. I must say that what you have written so far seems imprecise at best. Having learned all this, I wonder if you will display the courage and intellectual integrity to portray my novel accurately.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

AN UPDATE ON 5/16/07:

After waiting fruitlessly for VDARE to post a response to my message, I e-mailed them the following:

I’ve waited two days for you to clarify your misrepresentation of my book. It appears your blog is too gutless to publish the truth. You would rather use unsubstantiated lies to smear anyone who has a different opinion. How can you live with yourselves knowing you are so morally and intellectually bankrupt?

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

For more about America Libre, visit

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