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Arts and Culture:
Author Richard Rodriguez
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Richard Rodriguez writes about the intersection of his personal life with some of the great vexing issues of America. (Explore the works of Richard Rodriguez.)

Rodriguez, the son of Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in Sacramento, California. He was an undergraduate at Stanford University. He went on to spend two years in a religious studies program at Columbia. He then studied English Renaissance literature at the Warburg Institute in London and was a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1982, he published an intellectual autobiography, HUNGER OF MEMORY: THE EDUCATION OF RICHARD RODRIGUEZ. A memoir of a "scholarship boy", HUNGER remains controversial for its skepticism regarding bilingual education and affirmative action.

In 1992, Rodriguez published DAYS OF OBLIGATION: AN ARGUMENT WITH MY MEXICAN FATHER, a "philosophical travel book," concerned with the moral landscape separating "Protestant America" and "Catholic Mexico."

In 2002, Rodriguez has published BROWN: The Last Discovery of America. In a series of essays concerned with topics as varied as the cleaning of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, cubism, and Broadway musicals, Rodriguez undermines America's black and white notion of race and proposes the color brown for understanding the future (and past) of the Americas.

As a journalist, Richard Rodriguez worked for over two decades for the Pacific News Service in San Francisco; he has also been a contributing editor for HARPER'S MAGAZINE and the Sunday "Opinion" section of the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Many Americans probably recognize him from his television appearances on PBS. For more than ten years he has appeared as an essayist on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer". His televised essays on American life were honored in 1997 with a George Peabody Award.

In 1993, Richard Rodriguez was given the Frankel Medal (now renamed "The National Humanities Medal"), the highest honor the federal government gives to recognize work done in the humanities.


The Online NewsHour
Richard Rodriguez is a regular essayist for the NEWSHOUR. His essays are archived on their site.

A collection Rodriguez essays on

A View from the Melting Pot: An Interview with Richard Rodriguez
Interview adapted from the series Insight & Outlook, hosted by Scott London.

Remarks of Richard Rodriguez
Remarks of Richard Rodriguez at Convocation on Providing Public Library Service to California's 21st Century Population, May 23, 1997

The New, New World Richard Rodriguez on culture and assimilation
Interview by Virginia I. Postrel and Nick Gillespie for REASON magazine

The Saavy Traveler: Interview: Essayist Richard Rodriguez
Richard Rodriguez, an essayist for the PBS NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, talked with Diana a few weeks after the Sept. 11th disaster about people coming across borders with their ideas, their religions and their customs. In his new book BROWN: THE LAST DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, Rodriguez discusses the changing nature of ethnicity, culture and class.

Brown Like You
Six conversations with Rodriguez from The Paula Gordon Show

A Letter From the Future -- Fifty Years After the L.A. Riots
Written in 1997 for JINN, Pacific News Service.

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