Inside the Center: Geraldo Cadava

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The Hispanic Republican

The Shaping of an American Political Identity, From Nixon to Trump

Before every election cycle, pundits predict that Latino Americans will overwhelmingly vote in favor of the Democratic candidate. And while Latino voters do tilt Democratic, the numbers belie a more complicated picture.

Historian and political commentator Geraldo Cadava (2019–20 fellow) will discuss his latest book, The Hispanic Republican, which illuminates the history of the millions of Hispanic Republicans who, since the 1960s, have had a significant impact on national politics.

Intertwining the little understood history of Hispanic Americans with a cultural study of how post–World War II Republican politicians actively courted the Hispanic vote during the Cold War (especially Cuban émigrés) and during periods of major strife in Central America (especially during Iran-Contra), Cadava offers insight into the complicated dynamic between Latino liberalism and conservatism, which, when studied together, shine a crucial light on a rapidly changing demographic that will impact American elections for years to come.

Following the talk, there will be an opportunity for Q&A with Professor Cadava.

About the Speaker

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Geraldo Cadava is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Cadava received degrees from Yale University and Dartmouth College. He is the author of Standing on Common Ground and his essays on this topic have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the NACLA Report on the Americas, and on,, and