In the beginning years of the twenty-first century, at a time when Latinos are the most numerous ethnic minority in the United States and a growing part of the middle and professional classes, a Mexican American educator takes stock. Latinos can see that their sun is rising. Marco Portales knows; he has lived his life under that rising sun. On the beach at Corpus Christi, in class at SUNY-Buffalo, waiting tables in Chicago, traveling to London, teaching at Berkeley, raising a family near NASA headquarters in Houston - in all these settings, Portales gives a view of the private world and public significance of Latinos. By recreating his parents' generation as well as his own, Portales encourages readers to consider Latino progress since the days of his youth during the Eisenhower fifties, years that coalesced into the gradual unfurling of his ethnic consciousness. Working within a traditional Aztec framework of ""suns"" or days, Portales looks through the window of individual life onto the ""morning"" (sol naciente) of growing up as a minority member of American society, the ""noontime"" (sol ardiente) of private adult life and the transmission of identity to a new generation, and the full heat of afternoon (sol radiante), when public business is done and the larger polity is addressed. In a society that often asks people to choose between their American and Mexican identities, Portales inscribes himself into his people's experience, remaining fully aware that no one person's story can embody the great worth and potential of all U.S. Latinos.