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Book Title: La Révolte des cafards|
The author of the book: Oscar Zeta Acosta
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 610 KB
Edition: Tusitala Editions
Date of issue: June 12th 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books La Révolte des cafards:Out in the Youtube world, the only Acosta video you will find is a multi-part series where he reads about the murder, while in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department, of young Chicano Robert Fernandez. The Fernandez incident is only one of a handful of arbitrary injustices that poor Chicanos suffered during the 1960's. It is one, of a few, that Acosta manages to get down on print. What Acosta achieves, though, through this wild, trippy, turbulent book is to hint at the true history of Chicanos in the United States. This (sad) history, which may be true for ALL minorities in the United States, is a history of general oppression, constant subordination, interminable punishment at the hands of the status quo.
Acosta's running metaphor is the cockroach. This creature, Acosta writes, that is all over the place, and that everybody likes to step on. That is "us": Chicanos, blacks, women, "indians," etcetera. While only a few instances of injustice--those Acosta had the fate of being directly associated with, as a Chicano defense lawyer--are documented in this book, it becomes clear that what the author is narrating is a microcosm of the Chicano experience in general. Since the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Chicano history has been one instance of being trampled by the white world, after another. In one shining moment, Acosta's narrators explains that city Chicanos don't get the general disdain that the Establishment has for "cockroaches." However, the narrator says, rural Chicanos get it, and so do the "vato locos," from the urban areas. The rest, Buffalo Brown suggests, are under the illusion that powerful white people view them as anything less than cucarachas.
Decades after the original publication of this book, the overt sexism in this book can really come off rank. While Acosta clearly had a beef with racism, he was an out-and-out, and completely naive sexist. His book from beginning to end, is chock-full of degrading references, and descriptions, about women. Overwhelmingly, women are reduced to "tits and asses," and while this may still fly with a lot of readers, especially males, for all readers no longer interested in idealizing the "player" figure , all the macho-rhetoric, and near-porn, is obnoxious and distracting.
Another expression of Acosta's sexism is his narrator's penchant for going on the road alone after his trials. A pattern is established, where after completing a brilliant trial defense, Buffalo Z. Brown--the book's protagonist--escapes somewhere to, purportedly, find himself. One time he jets for Acapulco, where he spends his days smoking dope, having sex with prostitutes, and hanging out with his pimp-brother. On the one hand, Brown seems entitled to this type of escapade. After all, as radical Chicano defense lawyer, he bears enough responsibility on his shoulders to crush any lesser person. In this way, he is alienated from the community he defends because he sees things, as an inside man, that they don't. But how does getting high and hiring prostitutes heal this type of psychic torture? It may satisfy his body, but what about his soul?
The unabashed sexism notwithstanding, this is still a book well-worth reading. In spite of his vices, Acosta was still a brilliant lawyer, he still had a gargantuan, and admirable, passion for justice, and this book is still a precious document to put together the history of the Chicano Movement, as well as to better appreciate the value of the sacrifices of the activists from that era.
Read information about the author(April 8, 1935 – disappeared 1974) was an American attorney, politician, minor novelist and Chicano Movement activist, perhaps best known for his friendship with the American author Hunter S. Thompson, who included him as a character the Samoan Attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in his acclaimed novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
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