When I first learned that Colombian-Puerto Rican actor and comedian, John Leguizamo was starring in his own one-man show, “Latin History for Morons,” a performance dedicated to the oppression of Indigenous and African slaves in Latin America done by the Spanish conquistadors – I knew I had to see it. The Broadway show (which runs now through February 25th only) literally feels like an in-depth, comical but accurate, Latin history class. In other words, Leguizamo touches on everything you didn’t actually get to learn in history class growing up.
The show though hilarious, gets at something deep: the injustice of Latin history. It touches on the injustice of Spanish conquistadors and their impact on the indigenous communities that existed before colonization, as well as the African slaves that were brought over to work the lands. But like many folks who have seen the show, one of the things that stood out to me the most, was the insanely long list of Latin History book references Leguizamo constantly makes. He mentions quite a collection throughout that performance that are definitely worth adding to your own reading list. Here’s a look at a few Latin history books we should all make time to read!
If you’re going to read any history book this year – read this one. This classic national bestseller is a good text to start with, as it provides a pretty thorough and balanced account of American history, that’s told from the side of the oppressor. It’s nothing like the vague history books you read in high school – that’s for sure!