The Rodrigo chronicles Conversations about America and race

Richard Delgado

Book - 1995

"In The Rodrigo chronicles, Delgado adopts his trademark storytelling approach that casts aside the dense, dry language so commonly associated with legal writing to offer up a series of incisive and compelling conversations about race in America."--BOOK JACKET. "Rodrigo, a brash and brilliant African-American law graduate, has been living in Italy and has just arrived in the offices of a professor when we meet him. Through the course of the book, the professor and he discuss the A...merican racial scene, touching on such issues as the role of minorities in an age of global markets and competition, the black left, the rise of the black right, black crime, feminism, law reform, and the economics of racial discrimination."--BOOK JACKET. "Expanding on one of the central themes of the critical race movement, namely that the law has an overwhelmingly white voice, Delgado here presents a radical and stunning thesis: it is not black but white crime that poses the most significant problem in modern American life."--Jacket.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 323.1196/Delgado Checked In
New York : New York University Press ©1995.
Physical Description
xix, 275 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 213-263).
Main Author
Richard Delgado (-)
  • Foreword /
  • Robert A. Williams, Jr.
  • 1.
  • Rodrigo's First Chronicle
  • 2.
  • Rodrigo's Second Chronicle: The Economics and Politics of Race
  • 3.
  • Rodrigo's Third Chronicle: Care, Competition, and the Redemptive Tragedy of Race
  • 4.
  • Rodrigo's Fourth Chronicle: Neutrality and Stasis in Antidiscrimination Law
  • 5.
  • Rodrigo's Fifth Chronicle: Civitas, Civil Wrongs, and the Politics of Denial
  • 6.
  • Rodrigo's Sixth Chronicle: Intersections, Essences, and the Dilemma of Social Reform
  • 7.
  • Rodrigo's Seventh Chronicle: Race, Democracy, and the State
  • 8.
  • Rodrigo's Eighth Chronicle: Black Crime, White Fears - On the Social Construction of Threat
  • 9.
  • Rodrigo's Final Chronicle: Cultural Power, Law Reviews, and the Attack on Narrative Jurisprudence.
Review by Choice Review

Delgado has chosen a method known as legal storytelling and used by legal scholars such as Derrick A. Bell in Faces at the Bottom of the Well (CH, Feb'93) to communicate with readers. Although quite controversial, the growing use of legal storytelling is a refreshing and insightful approach that prevents readers from becoming overwhelmed by the traditional footnotes and citations so common in legal and other scholarly journals. Delgado does a masterful job, using two fictitious characters--professor and student--to explore such issues as racism and sexism in American society. More specifically, the author addresses these questions: can civil rights laws eradicate racism? Why, 40 years after Brown vs. The Board of Education, are black children more segregated than ever? Who really benefits from affirmative action? The book is an excellent exercise in intellectual gymnastics between the two characters. Their dialogue makes it quite difficult for the reader not to get caught up in this intellectual arena created by Delgado. All levels. E. A. McKinney; Cleveland State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Borrowing the storytelling style-though with less emphasis on parable-of Derrick Bell's And We Are Not Saved, Delgado, who teaches law at the University of Colorado, offers challenging thoughts on race and law. In nine ``chronicles'' originally published in various law reviews, Delgado posits Rodrigo, an audacious black graduate law student, in dialogue with an older professor of color scarred by ``years in the trenches'' of civil rights scholarship. Rodrigo observes how informal law-school hiring criteria-personal ties to professors-function as a ``sort of affirmative action for whites'' and, by sketching racism as a ``cultural paradigm,'' demolishes law-and-economics scholars who call discrimination a matter of individual preferences. Some memorable-and debatable-passages invert conventional wisdom: Rodrigo proposes that the middle class have sinned more than the ghetto poor because they ignore inner-city anguish; he suggests that the racial imagery of ``enlightenment-style Western democracy'' is the source of black subordination; and he argues provocatively that crime committed by whites, which includes most ``white-collar crime,'' is far more harmful to society than crime committed by blacks, so many of whom are poor. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved