When I first moved to the Kansas Prairie (just across the river from the great city of Kansas City, MO) I was interested in learning more about local history. Coming from New England I was used to the history of the area from the Pilgrims to the Revolution. There was a lot to learn about Kansas and its relatively short “American” history. So I was fascinated to learn that in 1541 Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado arrived in present-day Kansas in search of gold. That’s 80 years before Plymouth Rock and like 280 years before Lewis and Clark came through the same area. I was surprised how few of my new friends had heard of this part of local history.

It turns out this is only part of it, there is whole lot of history with Spanish roots that we have somehow forgotten. Which is why the great book, El Norte – The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson, is such a welcome revelation.

About El Norte – The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson:

El Norte chronicles the sweeping and dramatic history of Hispanic North America from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present—from Ponce de Leon’s initial landing in Florida in 1513 to Spanish control of the vast Louisiana territory in 1762 to the Mexican-American War in 1846 and up to the more recent tragedy of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and the ongoing border acrimony with Mexico. Interwoven in this stirring narrative of events and people are cultural issues that have been there from the start but which are unresolved to this day: language, belonging, community, race, and nationality. Seeing them play out over centuries provides vital perspective at a time when it is urgently needed.”

El Norte – The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.