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Extended Audio Sample Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father Audiobook, by Richard Rodriguez Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (225 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Rodriguez Narrator: Michael Anthony Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455171248
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In a series of ten essays spanning the five centuries of history, from Cortés’ conquest of Mexico to San Francisco’s AIDS epidemic, Rodriguez explores the conflicts of race, religion, and cultural identity for Mexican-Americans across the landscape of his beloved California—as well as the impact this history had on him.

Rodriguez positions Mexico and the United States as moral rivals—Mexico wearing the mask of tragedy; the United States, the mask of comedy. By the end, however, we come to recognize a historical irony: the United States is becoming a culture of tragedy, while Mexico is reveling in youthful optimism as the two nations are trading roles.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Days of Obligation looks into America—north and south of the Rio Grande—as penetratingly and eloquently as Camus did when he compared the mental landscapes of France and Algiers.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Luminous…[Rodriguez’s] insights, irony and descriptions make the writing richly evocative.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The best American essayist as far as I’m concerned…[Rodriguez] doesn’t kowtow to political correctness. He shuns the pack, rides alone. He writes a lonely line of individualism, the grandeur and grief of the American soul.”

    Village Voice

  • “The best American essayist.”

    Village Voice

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 10/25/2013

    " Very NPR, but a mighty good book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 10/15/2013

    " I really did not enjoy this book. The author was far from coherent and just full of self aggrandizing comments while simultaneously making derogatory comments about (almost) everyone else and everything, especially other Mexicans. Has he ever heard of the idea of self-contempt? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Desiree | 9/14/2013

    " Richard Rodriguez is an amazing master of language. He is amazing at weaving a sociological and cultural study of being Mexican American with beautiful, well structured language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Milt | 2/3/2013

    " prereading Jan 1996 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Parag | 1/11/2013

    " He floated too much here. Some really good passages, but somewhat far apart. I don't know - didn't click with much of his style, but I definitely liked some of the family stuff, esp. his Indian uncle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C.J. Prince | 11/28/2012

    " I sometimes tend to get stuck in a genre. However, it is windows opening to other points of view that enrich my life beyond expectation. This one fits in that category. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 4/30/2012

    " Richard Rodriguez -- one of the only whiners I'm willing to spend so much time with. He's such a master of the essay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristina | 3/29/2012

    " This is my favorite - so far - of Rodriguez's books. His writing is everything I want in writing. His use of the English language is inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lfrench | 6/15/2010

    " This is one of those books I thought I'd never have to read because Rodriguez's politics are so frequently discussed. But I found his voice and form equally compelling--his writing has an almost serpentine quality to it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Staney | 4/5/2010

    " " PURE GENIUS " "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/14/2010

    " Mexican-American / Chicano autobiography "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa | 2/26/2007

    " Closer to poetry than prose. Even if I often don't agree with Rodriguez's arguments, his writing is precise and brave, and he makes unexpected connections. I wish the chapter 'Asians' had been available to my immigrant parents before they had me. Beautiful, thoughtful, melancholic. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez was born in 1944 in San Francisco. He received a BA from Stanford University and an MA from Columbia University, was a PhD candidate in English Renaissance at the University of California at Berkeley, and attended the Warburg Institute in London on a Fulbright fellowship. Rodriguez has worked as a teacher, international journalist, and educational consultant.

About the Narrator

Michael Anthony is an actor and director with a lengthy resume in the Washington, DC, area.