Richard Rodriguez first came into the public eye with “Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez,” a memoir about his early schooling in Sacramento and alienation from his Latino roots. His new book, “Darling,” deals with questions of faith and character in a series of essays on a range of topics including 9/11, Christianity, and Cesar Chavez.

Richard Rodriguez, author and contributing editor at New America Media in San Francisco

  • thucy

    Rodriguez’ essays on PBS Newshour were always so off-beat but weirdly compelling. Even the delivery was odd in a way that pulled you in. Wondering if he ever thought of Tennessee Williams’ enmeshment in/condemnation of Southern culture in the context of Rodriguez’ own push/pull with Latino culture and gay culture.

  • Cecile Lusby

    Are you the same Richard Rodriguez mentioned by Manuel Delgado and Seth Rosenfeld as being assaulted during the Student Strikes at UC Berkeley 1969?

  • Peter Lambert

    -sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but it seems pretty clear that the prevalence of ‘visions’, etc., in the desert have much more to do with the effects of dehydration on the human brain/mind than anything else!

    • disqus_63X8zNMKNl

      Absolutely correct. It’s amazing to realize that in the 21st century people still cling to superstitions, and supernatural explanations for physical phenomena.

  • disqus_63X8zNMKNl

    I am greatly disappointed in the interview with Richard Rodriguez just now. Why? Because I felt that I had somehow tuned in to Fox News. or a Tea Party broadcast. It pained me to hear Michael Krasney help trash Christopher Hitchens–people in America like what Hitchens had to say because of Anglophilia? (Krasney’s “defense” of Hitchens). Hitchens’ history with the Kurds and the Middle East is “no defense’ (Krasney) for his later views about the Iraq war? Hitchens was a “fundamentalist”? (not elucidated by Rodriguez.) Hitchens’s views “played to the Left in America”? Robert Kennedy’s work in ecology is cancelled by the fact that he traveled by jet?
    I realize that KQED has to be seen to be impartial, but I feel this interview went way beyond that, and seemed to reveal that Krasney is overtly sympathetic to the kind of religious views I expect to hear elsewhere, not on KQED.

    • trite

      I was pleased to hear Mr. Rodriguez burst the Hitchens’ balloon. I heard Mr. Hitchens in debate at UC Berkeley just before we went into Iraq, and the last words he said on stage were “Bring it on.” He became an apologist for neo cons, and I think, as was stated in the program, he was an atheist fundamentalist. He had a “take-no-prisoners” debating style that was that of a British Public School bully.
      I enjoyed the interview with Mr. Rodriguez very much–he seems to be a complicated and interesting man.

    • thucy

      Hitchens was a wonderful writer, but he not only was distrustful of fan-boys, he welcomed vigorous criticism of his own work. Rodriguez’ critical comments were for the most part on-target, perhaps a second listen would change your view.

  • Ebenezer Coode

    During the discussion on the descendants of Abraham I heard both Mr. Kransy and guest repeatedly equate Arabs and Muslim as the same thing. For example they agreed that biblically, all Arabs descend from Ishmael; later they agreed that all Muslims descend from Ishmael.
    For educated, well informed people with access to a multitude of listeners and readers to not be able to distinguish between a religion and one of it’s constituent groups is appalling. Are Turks, or Persians, or Nigerians, or Indonesians Arabs? Are Egyptians Arabs? If so, what about Coptic Egyptians? If not, define Arab.
    Please try to be a little bit accurate in what goes out.

    • TrainedHistorian

      True Arabs and Muslims are distinct categories. But part of the problem here is that they were speaking too loosely in general, as if Arab descent from Ishmael were a fact, rather than a theological claim of origins. They should have spoken more clearly by saying that some Jews and Muslims CLAIM that Arabs are descended from Ishmael, not that Muslims or Arabs DO descend from Ishmael.

      Quite aside from the problem that Abraham or Ishmael not not have been real people, Genesis does not use the word “Arab” in the Ishmael/Abraham story, although the word appears in some of the later Biblical books. According to Jan Retsoe, “Arabs in Antiquity” the word “Arab” first appears in datable archeological sources from the Assyrian period (8th century BC). This would explain why it’s not used in Genesis, which contains older source material pre-dating the 8th century BC, but it does appear in some later Biblical books.

      Clearly early Muslims got the notion of Arabs descending from Ishmael from late antique Jews and/or Christians who interpreted the Biblical story that way, But there is no evidence that Arabs themselves–i.e. anyone using that word of themselves–ever made that claim before Islam.

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