The article which calls the book “an imposing testimony to the sheer vibrancy of the city’s Hispanic community,” describes the book and its documentation of the many Hispanic influences in the city and its history. The first Spanish speakers came to New York in 1645 and by 1741 there were already three Spanish newspapers.
The article cites Walt Whitman’s “The Spanish Element in Our Nationality” as one of the most revealing texts. In it, Whitman hopes that the Spanish character would bring its values to the “composite American identity of the future.”
For more on the book and the continuing place of Latinos in the city, there is Remeseira’s excellent blog the Hispanic New York Project.