“Hank Olguin’s life story is a must read for Americans who want to understand the American Latino experience. Olguin’s life, and his descriptions of other Latinos he meets along his journey, depicts a family that has been in America for decades, and in the face of discrimination, figured out how to succeed. He describes that through hard work, belief in oneself, and family support, Latinos like Olguin accomplished and contributed immensely to our nation. Most Americans would be shocked to learn that back in l959, two “Mexicans” played in the Rose Bowl. Olguin includes his poems throughout the book, and he shares funny and deeply personal feelings about his experiences that will resonate with many of us.”
—Federico Peña—Former Mayor of Denver, Former U.S. Secretary of both Transportation an Energy
“Who Let the Mexicans Play in the Rose Bowl is an insightful, often humorous look at the twists and turns of being of Mexican ancestry in the modern United States. In a spell-binding account, we see the incredible journey of Hank Olguin from high school athlete to Bowles Hall and the fraternities at UC Berkeley to the 1959 Rose Bowl (with fellow Chicano Joe Kapp at the helm in Cal's most recent appearance in that iconic bowl), and on to a successful career in the advertising world. Along the way, Olguin offers insights into life as a Chicano in a world adapting to the growing Latina/o presence. Who Let the Mexicans Play in the Rose Bowl is required reading for anyone interested in an analysis of Latino identity.”
—Kevin R. Johnson—Dean, UC Davis School of Law, Author of How Did You Get to Be Mexican?—A White/Brown Man’s Search for Racial Identity
"From the Mexican Revolution to the smell of fresh-cut alfalfa in New Mexico to Zoot Suits in Los Angeles, California, to the Blue Suede Shoe Boys of Dallas, Texas, Hank Olguin's beautifully written memoir of growing up Brown in America is full of insight, poetry and soul. The reader is taken through time, under the skin and from behind the eyes of a boy finding his way to a young man finding his place to an elder artist looking back at a life worth living, written with tenderness, humor and great affection. This is a story of family, community and country. This is an American story.”
—KJ Sanchez—Founder & CEO of American Records, a theater company, and Associate Professor and head of Playwriting Directing, University of Texas at Austin
“Hank Olguin offers us his engaging and truly inspiring life story, a 99-yard winning touchdown for anyone who has felt sidelined in the American game of life. Entertaining, heartfelt, and courageous, he tells his story with wit and honesty, sharing with us his poignant poetry and love of life and family.”
—Emilio Delgado—Actor, Sesame Street’s Luis
“Given the current political climate and resurgence of anti-immigrant sentiment, Hank Olguin’s memoir, Who Let the Mexicans Play in the Rose Bowl? is timely, relevant and important. He is a masterful writer, weaving exquisitely detailed childhood memories through vignettes and poetry together with historical perspective, highlighting the valuable and too often unknown contributions of Mexican Americans. As a third generation American of Mexican heritage, Hank provides a unique counterpoint to the false dominant narrative that all Latinos have arrived here illegally. I want this book to be required reading for my two daughters—to be reminded of the beauty of their Mexican heritage and to gain a more nuanced understanding of the historical backdrop out of which the current, continued anti-immigrant bias has sprung.”
—Roberta A. Rey—PhD, Student Affairs Office, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
“I’ve read one book in one sitting and this was it. Hank Olguin’s WHO LET THE MEXICAN’S PLAY IN THE ROSE BOWL is one man’s story of finding his place in American society, uniquely told in an interplay of voices; what a story it is. Hank figured out early in life how to fit in but struggled to belong. From his early years in New Mexico to his long journey that led to the Rose Bowl and coming of age, he tells of his quest for and achievement of his identity.
His is a story that deserves to be told and needs to be read."
—Tom Knoles—Retired School Teacher