A Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano

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Bantam Books, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 270 pages
For Latinos, the doors of higher education have opened only a crack. But in 1985 an ambitious young Mexican-American from rural California became one of the few to enter America's most prestigious university. The lessons Ruben Navarrette, Jr., learned as he journeyed from his middle-class surroundings to an exclusive 350-year-old world of privilege would forever alter his life, shape his views on the relationship between education and ethnicity, and define his conception of self. He was the son of first-generation Mexican Americans who had, by many standards, already beaten the system. Yet getting into an Ivy League school was something he had to do entirely on his own--and he did, only to find his admission belittled by teachers and classmates with whispers of "affirmative action." Although he respected his heritage, he had embraced American culture as his own. But among strangers, he found himself struggling with questions of identity and ethnicity in Harvard's dormitories and classrooms, his only refuge being the Chicano student organization. Navarrette began his painful journey into adulthood, torn between the separate worlds of Harvard and home, and increasingly aware of two distinct educational systems. Yet nothing would rock his assumptions like the arrest of a Chicano classmate for armed robbery, Navarrette's attempts to understand his friend's actions would ultimately sweep him into conflict, both public and private, and leave him wondering whether he'd ever truly fit in either in the world that he had been allowed to visit or in the one to which he knew he must eventually return. This is the deeply personal story of a young man struggling to reconcile the expectations of his family, his ethnicity, and society at large with his own opinions and values. Whatever one's views on affirmative action, racism, and liberal education, this chronicle will offer a new perspective.--From publisher description.

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A DARKER SHADE OF CRIMSON: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano

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A young man's appraisal—Navarrette is only 25 now—of his turbulent years as a Mexican-American undergraduate at one of the nation's most prestigious universities. Navarrette starts with a ... Read full review

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User Review  - PattyJC - LibraryThing

Interesting perspective of a Mexican-American student from rural California making his way through life at Harvard University.. He details his struggles in both worlds, trying to reconcile two very different parts of his life without alienating either part. Read full review



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