My American History

Charles Diaz

Publisher: Ink Start Media Pages: Price: (paperback) $17.99 ISBN: Reviewed: April, 2024

C. Howard Diaz asserts his political opinions while chronicling his life from growing up poor in South Central Los Angeles in the 1940s and ’50s through the ups and downs of his personal and professional life.

Diaz was raised by his divorced mother who emigrated from Mexico with her parents as a child. He enjoyed a happy “lower-working-class” lifestyle and worked a variety of odd jobs from age nine until graduating from high school in 1955 and joining the Air Force. That same year, he wed and soon had three children, although the marriage lasted only seven years.

Following his discharge in 1958, his career included stints operating bars and working in sales; he found the most success working in various industrial planning and inventory control roles.

Throughout his life, Diaz has considered himself an “American of Mexican descent,” not a Mexican-American. This distinction underscores his belief that everyone must assimilate to sustain his vision of America, one of a homogenous society that does not celebrate diversity. He harbors extreme viewpoints, including decrying early education and criticizing husbands with working wives. Readers may take issue with his claims that he’s not racist or misogynistic, and his tirades against the LGBTQ community leave little doubt as to his animus. Furthermore, he excoriates anyone who does not adhere to his opinions.

While Diaz may be applauded for his grit in forging a path for himself without the benefits of privilege, his astringent tone and disjointed writing style makes for unappealing reading. He often interrupts his chronology with political outbursts and peppers the writing with colloquialisms that detract from a polished quality. When he devises a prayer that equates Democrats with the devil and asks God for permission “to strike down those who hate you, hate America, and don’t believe in you,” he crosses the line of decency.

Ultimately, this memoir of a dogmatic hardline conservative and his divisive rhetoric will likely have limited appeal.

Author's Current Residence
High Point, North Carolina