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Always Running | Study Guide

Luis J. Rodriguez

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Always Running | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 1956

    Luis Rodríguez's family immigrates to the United States; Luis is age two.

    Chapter 1
  • 1957

    José René begins school; he is placed in the "retarded" class because he does not know English.

    Chapter 1
  • 1960

    Rodríguez is enrolled in elementary school; he is left to himself because he does not know English.

    Chapter 1
  • 1961–63

    Alfonso gets a good job, goes into debt, and then loses his job; the family becomes homeless.

    Chapter 1
  • 1963

    María Estella decides to return to Mexico with the children but changes her mind at the last minute.

    Chapter 1
  • 1964

    Rodríguez's 10-year-old friend Tino has a fatal accident while being chased by police.

    Chapter 2
  • 1965

    A gang attacks Rodríguez's school; he and classmates form a first gang, "Thee Impersonations."

    Chapter 2
  • 1967

    Rodríguez begins intermediate school; he joins the Animal Tribe and is in constant trouble.

    Chapter 2
  • 1968

    María Estella throws Rodríguez out of the house and then lets him return and move into the garage.

    Chapter 4
  • 1969

    Rodríguez enrolls in Mark Keppel High School and is expelled before the academic year is over.

    Chapter 4
  • Later that year

    The Animal Tribe disbands; Rodríguez is initiated into Lomas.

    Chapter 5
  • 1970

    Rodríguez meets community organizer Chente Ramírez.

    Chapter 5
  • 1971

    Rodríguez is allowed to return to Mark Keppel High School.

    Chapter 7
  • That school year

    Rodríguez stages a walkout during school; a few days later he shoots a biker during a gang battle.

    Chapter 7
  • A few weeks later

    Rodríguez stands trial for shooting the biker; he is acquitted.

    Chapter 8
  • 1972

    Rodríguez graduates from high school. He begins taking college courses.

    Chapter 9
  • 1973

    Rodríguez quits drugs, and Lomas threatens his life. With Chente Ramírez's help, he leaves the gang.

    Chapter 10
  • 1974 and afterward

    Rodríguez marries, starts a family, and embarks on a career of writing and activism.

    Chapter 10

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
The Long Run Luis Rodríguez begins his memoir by describing the dozen years that followed Always Running's first publication in 1993.... Read More
Preface to the 1993 Edition Luis Rodríguez sets his preface in 1991, two years before the publication of Always Running. He is living in a small Chi... Read More
Chapter 1 Luis Rodríguez begins his memoir with an incident that occurred when he was nine. It is a rainy night in Los Angeles, an... Read More
Chapter 2 Luis Rodríguez is 10. His family is living in South San Gabriel, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. One dark,... Read More
Chapter 3 Luis Rodríguez, who has come to be called "Chin" because of his pronounced jawbone, is hanging out at a fire-ravaged hou... Read More
Chapter 4 As this chapter begins, Luis Rodríguez is 14. His mother, María Estela, tired of his clashes with the police and at scho... Read More
Chapter 5 By the time Luis Rodríguez is 15, his gang—the Animal Tribe—has been decimated by murders and arrests among its leadersh... Read More
Chapter 6 Luis Rodríguez's mother, María Estela, is concerned about her 16-year-old son, who is at loose ends since being expelled... Read More
Chapter 7 It is August 29, 1970, and Luis Rodríguez is 16. He is marching in the Chicano Moratorium march, a protest against U.S. ... Read More
Chapter 8 Luis Rodríguez is in jail at 17 for assault with intent to commit murder, after shooting an Anglo biker during a gang-re... Read More
Chapter 9 Luis Rodríguez is now in his senior year at Mark Keppel High School. Still a member of the Lomas gang, he is also presid... Read More
Chapter 10 Luis Rodríguez drops out of college at 19, deciding that he can educate himself by reading as time and opportunity permi... Read More
Epilogue Luis Rodríguez begins the epilogue to Always Running by declaring that the book is a gift to his teenage son, Ramiro. He... Read More
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