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Short Sweet Dream Of Eduardo Gutierrez
by Jimmy Breslin
Publisher: Crown Publishers 2002
Category: 20th centuryImmigrationBrooklyn
Avg Rating: (0 reviews)
The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutiérrez is Jimmy Breslin’s most passionate and hard-hitting book to date. A work of conscience that travels from San Matías Cuatchatyotla, a small dusty town in central Mexico, to the cold and wet streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this searing exposé chronicles the life and tragic death of an illegal immigrant worker, along with the broader issues of municipal corruption and America’s deadly and controversial border policy. In November 1999, an accidental death at a Brooklyn construction site made headlines because the developers had major fund-raising ties to the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. But the dead man’s name went all but unmentioned in the press coverage. In The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutiérrez, Breslin not only gives the dead man a name but tells the story of his life: his birth in San Matías, Mexico, his love for a woman named Silvia, and his hope of making enough money in the United States to secure a more comfortable future back home in Mexico. The story behind Gutiérrez’s death is one of corruption, bad politics, and indifference to people whose lives are perceived not to count. With the issue of Mexican immigration and border policy taking center stage in our national debate, Gutiérrez’s story takes on even more relevance. The account of his flight, his desperation in a foreign and hostile country, and his needless death at the hands of unscrupulous forces should be a wake-up call to us all. In placing this man in the story’s center, rather than its footnotes, Breslin does the same thing he did so famously when he interviewed the grave digger at John F. Kennedy’s funeral: he wrenches our attention back to a story’s most forgotten but most human perspective. Jimmy Breslin has written a classic on the subject. Powerful, honest, and unsparing, The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutiérrez is a towering achievement by one of America’s most respected journalists.

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