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Reviews of Reflections on a Puerto Rican Life: Benjy Lopez’ Picaresque Tale of Emigration and Return


“A landmark in Puerto Rican emigration studies.”
New West Indian Guide

“This book is intended as a positive alternative to much testimonial literature about Puerto Ricans/Nuyoricans in which they appear as passive victims … The sad absurdity of racial and cultural prejudice is illuminated. … Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

Benjy is a good antidote to those who believe that the culture of poverty concept is all but divinely inspired … Valuable research, excellent writing.”
— Raymond E. Crist, Latin America in Books

“Bringing to Lopez’s story advanced instruments of social science, an effective interpretative scheme, and a solid sociological background, Levine has rescued Third World man from indignity … Few works will better demonstrate the circumstances of the Puerto Rican in New York than this one by Levine.”
— Miguel Barnet, Caribbean Review

“A rare work about the Puerto Rican diaspora that leaves the reader on the whole more cheerful when he finishes reading than when he started.”

“A labor of love for Puerto Rico.”


“Benjy’s story is much more interesting and refreshing than the countless one-dimensional sociological studies of Caribbean and Latin American emigrants to the U.S., or Mediterranean emigrants to Western Europe.”
Times of the Americas

“[Benjy’s life] opens the reader’s eyes to the problems and challenges, the pain and frustration of life as a Puerto Rican in the big metropolis.”
Contemporary Sociology

“An attempt to redress the balance in the sociological literature about Puerto Ricans … providing a more balanced view of Puerto Rican migrants and of the acculturation process.”
— Frank Fernández, Revista Interamericana

“A good read.”
Caribbean Studies Journal

“Stupendous. A very human document about a very human being.”

“Levine’s simpatico study reveals unique kinds of resourcefulness and suffering that elevate Benjy from a ‘type’ into a subject of human concern.”

“What Levine seems to be pointing out … is that the migratory experience … sharpens the migrant’s ability to deal with life situations successfully.”
— Eugene Mohr, The Nuyorican Experience

“Barry Levine has that increasingly rare gift, the sociological ear. In this book we have the result of his listening—patiently, sensitively, with a fine feeling for nuance to what I’m sure must be one of the most colorful characters in sociological literature.”
— Peter L. Berger