A Letter From The Publisher, Oct. 16, 1978

For each new wave of arrivals, the hardships have been the same: a mysterious language to be mastered, an education to be pursued, a career to be won. So it has been with one of the nation's newest, yet at the same time oldest immigrant groups: the 19 million Hispanic Americans, who are now so much a part of the fabric of American life that the correspondents reporting this week's cover story found their most difficult job was simply knowing where to begin.

Working in the old Spanish Southwest, TIME'S Edward Boyer needed five weeks to complete his interviews. Says Boyer: "Like...

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