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One Nation, One Standard
An Ex-Liberal on How Hispanics Can Succeed Just Like Other Immigrant Groups
(Sentinel, 2007)

By Herman Badillo
Foreword by Rudolph W. Giuliani

Why aren't Hispanics succeeding like Asians, Jews, and other immigrant groups in America?
The answer is as politically incorrect as the question.

Herman Badillo will tell it to you straight: Hispanics simply don't put the same emphasis on education as other immigrant groups in America.

Orphaned in Puerto Rico, raised in New York since childhood, and experienced in the political arena, he's not afraid of the "stereotyping" charge.

As the nation's first Puerto Rican-born U.S. congressman, the trailblazing Badillo supported bilingual education and other government programs he thought would help the Hispanic community.

But Badillo came to see that the real path to prosperity, political unity, and the American mainstream is self-reliance, not big government. Now Badillo's a Giuliani-style Republican and a champion of one standard of achievement for all races and ethnicities.

In this surprising and controversial manifesto, you will learn:

  • Why Hispanic culture's trouble with education, democracy, and economics stems from Mother Spain and the "five-hundred year siesta" she induced in Latin America.
  • What changed the mind of the man who drafted the first Spanish-English bilingual education legislation in Congress and made him realize that it hurt students more than it helped them.
  • Why "social promotion"-putting minority students' self-esteem ahead of their academic performance and then admitting them to college unprepared-continues to this day, despite the system's documented failures and injustices.
  • How self-identifying as "Hispanic" or "white" or "black" undermines achievement, and what lessons we can learn from Latin American countries, where one's race is irrelevant.

With Central and Latin America exporting a large portion of their poor, Hispanics are on the way to becoming a majority in the United States . . . but one with all the problems of a minority culture.

Badillo's solution to this problem relies on traditional values: hard work, education, and achievement. His lessons are important not only for Hispanics but for every American.


Herman Badillo was the nation's first Puerto Rican-born congressman. He also served as the borough president of the Bronx, deputy mayor of New York City, and chairman of the board of the City University of New York. Currently he is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and resides in New York City with his wife, Gail.

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"The greatest lesson of Herman Badillo's story is that the genius of American life-the upward ladder of opportunity that American freedom at its best provides-is better at solving most any problem than any government program."

Rudolph W. Giuliani, former mayor of New York City

"As an honest, accomplished Hispanic public servant, originally a Democrat and now a Republican, Herman Badillo has produced an enlightening discussion of the explosive growth of the Hispanic community and how best to promote its assimilation. Among other good advice, he warns against relying too much on government assistance while insisting on traditional values of hard work, thrift, and integrity. So doing, he provides nourishment for intelligent people who call themselves liberals and equally intelligent people who call themselves conservatives. I call him brilliant."

Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York State


Manhattan Institute