El Narco draws the first definitive portrait of Mexico's drug cartels and how they have radically transformed in the last decade. El Narco is not a gang; it is a movement and an industry drawing in hundreds of thousands from bullet-ridden barrios to marijuana-growing mountains. And it has created paramilitary death squads with tens of thousands of men-at-arms from Guatemala to the Texas border. Journalist Ioan Grillo has spent a decade in Mexico reporting on the drug wars from the front lines. This piercing book joins testimonies from inside the cartels with firsthand dispatches and unsparing analysis. The devastation may be south of the Rio Grande, El Narco shows, but America is knee-deep in this conflict
A diverse collection of more than eighty selections, The Mexico Reader brings together poetry, folklore, fiction, polemics, photoessays, songs, political cartoons, memoirs, satire, and scholarly writing. Many pieces are by Mexicans, and a substantial number appear for the first time in English. Works by Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes are included along with pieces about such well-known figures as the larger-than-life revolutionary leaders Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata; there is also a comminiqué from a more recent rebel, Subcomandante Marcos. At the same time, the book highlights the perspectives of many others—indigenous peoples, women, politicians, patriots, artists, soldiers, rebels, priests, workers, peasants, foreign diplomats, and travelers.
The Mexico Reader explores what it means to be Mexican, tracing the history of Mexico from pre-Columbian times through the country’s epic revolution (1910–17) to the present day. The materials relating to the latter half of the twentieth century focus on the contradictions and costs of postrevolutionary modernization, the rise of civil society, and the dynamic cross-cultural zone marked by the two thousand-mile Mexico-U.S. border. The editors have divided the book into several sections organized roughly in chronological order and have provided brief historical contexts for each section. They have also furnished a lengthy list of resources about Mexico, including websites and suggestions for further reading.
"The [drug smuggling] business goes on, the slaughtered dead pile up, the US agencies continue to ratchet up their budgets, the prisons grow larger and all the real rules of the game are in this book, some kind of masterpiece."—Charles Bowden, from the introduction
"Pablo Acosta was a living legend in his Mexican border town of Ojinaga. He smuggled tremendous amounts of drugs into the United States; he survived numerous attempts on his power—and his life—by rivals; and he blessed the town with charity and civic improvements. He was finally slain in 1987 during a raid by Mexican officials with the cooperation of US law enforcement. Poppa has turned out a detailed and exciting book, covering in depth Acosta's life; the other drug factions that battled with him; the village of Ojinaga; and the logistics of the drug operation. The result is a nonfiction account with enough greed, treachery, shoot-outs, and government corruption to fascinate true crime and crime fiction readers alike. Highly recommended."—Library Journal
Terrence E. Poppa, an award-winning journalist, was a finalist for a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his investigations into the connection between crime and government in Mexico. He was featured in Standoff in Mexico, a PBS production about fraudulent elections in Mexico. Due to his unique insights into the world of Mexican drug trafficking, Poppa has been widely interviewed on radio and television, including Larry King Live and The O'Reilly Factor.
In contrast with many current books that treat the war as a fundamentally American experience, Timothy J. Henderson's A Glorious Defeat offers a fresh perspective on the Mexican side of the equation. Examining the manner in which Mexico gained independence, Henderson brings to light a greater understanding of that country's intense factionalism and political paralysis leading up to and through the war. Also touching on a range of topics from culture, ethnicity, religion, and geography, this comprehensive yet concise narrative humanizes the conflict and serves as the perfect introduction for new readers of Mexican history.
Moving across local, regional, and national scales, St. John shows how government officials, Native American raiders, ranchers, railroad builders, miners, investors, immigrants, and smugglers contributed to the rise of state power on the border and developed strategies to navigate the increasingly regulated landscape. Over the border's history, the U.S. and Mexican states gradually developed an expanding array of official laws, ad hoc arrangements, government agents, and physical barriers that did not close the line, but made it a flexible barrier that restricted the movement of some people, goods, and animals without impeding others. By the 1930s, their efforts had created the foundations of the modern border control apparatus.
Drawing on extensive research in U.S. and Mexican archives, Line in the Sand weaves together a transnational history of how an undistinguished strip of land became the significant and symbolic space of state power and national definition that we know today.
“I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold.” —Hernán Cortés
It was a moment unique in human history, the face-to-face meeting between two men from civilizations a world apart. Only one would survive the encounter. In 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived on the shores of Mexico with a roughshod crew of adventurers and the intent to expand the Spanish empire. Along the way, this brash and roguish conquistador schemed to convert the native inhabitants to Catholicism and carry off a fortune in gold. That he saw nothing paradoxical in his intentions is one of the most remarkable—and tragic—aspects of this unforgettable story of conquest.
In Tenochtitlán, the famed City of Dreams, Cortés met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma: king, divinity, ruler of fifteen million people, and commander of the most powerful military machine in the Americas. Yet in less than two years, Cortés defeated the entire Aztec nation in one of the most astonishing military campaigns ever waged. Sometimes outnumbered in battle thousands-to-one, Cortés repeatedly beat seemingly impossible odds. Buddy Levy meticulously researches the mix of cunning, courage, brutality, superstition, and finally disease that enabled Cortés and his men to survive.
Conquistador is the story of a lost kingdom—a complex and sophisticated civilization where floating gardens, immense wealth, and reverence for art stood side by side with bloodstained temples and gruesome rites of human sacrifice. It’s the story of Montezuma—proud, spiritual, enigmatic, and doomed to misunderstand the stranger he thought a god. Epic in scope, as entertaining as it is enlightening, Conquistador is history at its most riveting.
From the Hardcover edition.
In 2009, after reporting from the border for many years, Ed Vulliamy traveled the frontier from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, from Tijuana to Matamoros, a journey through a kaleidoscopic landscape of corruption and all-out civil war, but also of beauty and joy and resilience. He describes in revelatory detail how the narco gangs work; the smuggling of people, weapons, and drugs back and forth across the border; middle-class flight from Mexico and an American celebrity culture that is feeding the violence; the interrelated economies of drugs and the maquiladora factories; the ruthless, systematic murder of young women in Ciudad Juarez. Heroes, villains, and victims—the brave and rogue police, priests, women, and journalists fighting the violence; the gangs and their freelance killers; the dead and the devastated—all come to life in this singular book.
Amexica takes us far beyond today's headlines. It is a street-level portrait, by turns horrific and sublime, of a place and people in a time of war as much as of the war itself.
The cult of human sacrifice is a pervasive theme in this study. It is a concept that permeated Aztec mythology and was the central preoccupation of the aggressive Aztec state. Another particularly interesting belief explored here is the "mask pool," whereby gods could exchange regalia and, thus, identities.
This vivid and eminently readable study also covers the use of hallucinogens; cannibalism; the calendars of ancient Mexico; tlachtli, the life-and-death ball game; the flower wars; divine transfiguration; and the evolution of the war god of the Mexica. A splendid introduction to Aztec religion, The Fifth Sun also contains insights for specialists in ethnohistory, mythology, and religion.
Each essay in its own way addresses the fragmentation of a cultural consensus that prevailed during the “golden age” of post–revolutionary prosperity, a time when the state was still successfully bolstering its power with narratives of modernization and shared community. Combining detailed case studies—both urban and rural—with larger discussions of political, economic, and cultural phenomena, the contributors take on such topics as the golden age of Mexican cinema, the death of Pedro Infante as a political spectacle, the 1951 “caravan of hunger,” professional wrestling, rock music, and soap operas.
Fragments of a Golden Age will fill a particular gap for students of modern Mexico, Latin American studies, cultural studies, political economy, and twentieth century history, as well as to others concerned with rethinking the cultural dimensions of nationalism, imperialism, and modernization.
Contributors. Steven J. Bachelor, Quetzil E. Castañeda, Seth Fein, Alison Greene, Omar Hernández, Jis & Trino, Gilbert M. Joseph, Heather Levi, Rubén Martínez, Emile McAnany, John Mraz, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Elena Poniatowska, Anne Rubenstein, Alex Saragoza, Arthur Schmidt, Mary Kay Vaughan, Eric Zolov
Essays feature research on prototourist American soldiers of the mid-nineteenth century, archaeologists who excavated Teotihuacán, business owners who marketed Carnival in Veracruz during the 1920s, American tourists in Mexico City who promoted goodwill during the Second World War, American retirees who settled San Miguel de Allende, restaurateurs who created an “authentic” cuisine of Central Mexico, indigenous market vendors of Oaxaca who shaped the local tourist identity, Mayan service workers who migrated to work in Cancun hotels, and local officials who vied to develop the next “it” spot in Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas. Including insightful studies on food, labor, art, diplomacy, business, and politics, this collection illuminates the many processes and individuals that constitute the tourism industry. Holiday in Mexico shows tourism to be a complicated set of interactions and outcomes that reveal much about the nature of economic, social, cultural, and environmental change in Greater Mexico over the past two centuries.
Contributors. Dina Berger, Andrea Boardman, Christina Bueno, M. Bianet Castellanos, Mary K. Coffey, Lisa Pinley Covert, Barbara Kastelein, Jeffrey Pilcher, Andrew Sackett, Alex Saragoza, Eric M. Schantz, Andrew Grant Wood
In that brief, confusing, and deadly encounter, one of America's most potent symbols was born. The story of the last stand at the Alamo grew from a Texas rallying cry, to a national slogan, to a phenomenon of popular culture and presidential politics. Yet it has been a hotly contested symbol from the first. Questions remain about what really happened: Did William Travis really draw a line in the sand? Did Davy Crockett die fighting, surrounded by the bodies of two dozen of the enemy? And what of the participants' motives and purposes? Were the Texans justified in their rebellion? Were they sincere patriots making a last stand for freedom and liberty, or were they a ragtag collection of greedy men-on-the-make, washed-up politicians, and backwoods bullies, Americans bent on extending American slavery into a foreign land?
The full story of the Alamo -- from the weeks and months that led up to the fateful encounter to the movies and speeches that continue to remember it today -- is a quintessential story of America's past and a fascinating window into our collective memory. In A Line in the Sand, acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and James Olson use a wealth of archival sources, including the diary of José Enrique de la Peña, along with important and little-used Mexican documents, to retell the story of the Alamo for a new generation of Americans. They explain what happened from the perspective of all parties, not just Anglo and Mexican soldiers, but also Tejano allies and bystanders. They delve anew into the mysteries of Crockett's final hours and Travis's famous rhetoric. Finally, they show how preservationists, television and movie producers, historians, and politicians have become the Alamo's major interpreters. Walt Disney, John Wayne, and scores of journalists and cultural critics have used the Alamo to contest the very meaning of America, and thereby helped us all to "remember the Alamo."
Ringing with the fury of two great empires locked in an epic battle, Conquest captures in extraordinary detail the Mexican and Spanish civilizations and offers unprecedented in-depth portraits of the legendary opponents, Montezuma and Cortés. Conquest is an essential work of history from one of our most gifted historians.
A Rain of Darts is the first one-volume history of the Mexica, historically the most important of the Aztec peoples. The focus of the narrative is on the political state produced by the Mexica during their stormy history. The eleven Mexica reigns that preceded the Spanish Conquest are investigated, their triumphs and errors explained, and the lives of their great leaders illuminated where the sources allow.
The narrative opens with the first appearance of the Mexica out of the arid north; it details their aimless wandering, the founding of the city of Mexico in the waters of Lake Tezcoco, their desperate struggle for independence (successfully achieved in 1428), and the flourishing of the new state and its curiously structured empire. This history concludes with an analysis of the character of Moteuczoma II, and investigates the final sickness of the Mexican state. Cortez and his small army of Spaniards are seen here for the first time in historical literature through the eyes of the people they conquered. The Mexica Aztecs remain at the center of the narrative.
The Mexica were unable to build a tightly knit empire because of the elitist, international warrior class and its peculiar cult of war and sacrifice. To the Mexica, warfare and bloodshed were sacraments; the teuctli or knightly warrior was the priest of this cult. to which he was as loyal as to the state. In this lay the uniqueness of the Mexican state and the seeds of its tragic end in 1521.
Erectile dysfunction treatments like Viagra are popular in Mexico, where stereotypes of men as sex-obsessed "machos" persist. However, most of the men Wentzell interviewed saw erectile difficulty as a chance to demonstrate difference from this stereotype. Rather than using drugs to continue youthful sex lives, many collaborated with wives and physicians to frame erectile difficulty as a prompt to embody age-appropriate, mature masculinities.
The three key figures of nineteenth-century Mexico-Antonio López de Santa Ana, Benito Juárez, and Porfirio Díaz-are engagingly reinterpreted. But the emphasis in this book is on the struggle of the common people to retain control over their everyday lives. Concerns central to village life were the appointment of police officials, imposition of taxes on Indians, the trustworthiness of local priests, and changes inland ownership. Communities often followed their leaders into one political camp or another-and even into war-out of loyalty.
Excesses in partisan politics and regional antagonisms gave rise to nearly eighty years of war, resulting in the nation's economic stagnation between 1821 and 1880 and the mass migration of women from the countryside to the city. The industrialization of urban employment forever altered gender relations. During wartime, women acted as the supply, transportation, and medical corps of the Mexican armies. Moreover, with greater frequency than has been known, women fought as soldiers in the nineteenth century. This account of Mexico from Independence to the Revolution combines lively explanations of social history, political and economic change, and gender relations. Wasserman offers a well-written, thoughtful, and original history of Mexico's nineteenth century that will appeal to students and specialists alike.
"At long last, a clear-headed, non-romanticized, and non-adversarial analysis of everyday life and politics across the vast sweep of a century of change and rebirth. This is a first-rate book, expert and highly accessible."--Professor Timothy E. Anna, University of Manitoba
In Murder City, Charles Bowden-one of the few journalists who spent extended periods of time in Juarez-has written an extraordinary account of what happens when a city disintegrates. Interweaving stories of its inhabitants-a beauty queen who was raped, a repentant hitman, a journalist fleeing for his life-with a broader meditation on the town's descent into anarchy, Bowden reveals how Juarez's culture of violence will not only worsen, but inevitably spread north.
Heartbreaking, disturbing, and unforgettable, Murder City was written at the height of his powers and established Bowden as one of America's leading journalists.
Also examining how non-governmental organizations have responded in the face of Mexican law enforcement's "normalization" of domestic violence, Staudt's study is a landmark development in the realm of global human rights.
Villa saw himself as the champion, eventually almost the sole champion, of the Mexican people. He fought for them, he said, and opponents who called him bandit and murderer were hypocrites.
This is his story, his account of how it all began when as a peasant boy of sixteen he shot a rich landowner threatening the honor of his sister. This lone, starved refugee hiding out in the mountains became the scourge of the Mexican Revolution, the leader of thousands of men, and the hero of the masses of the poor.
Great battles of the Revolution are described, sometimes as broad sweeps of strategy, sometimes as they developed half hour by half hour. Long, dusty horseback forays and cold nights spent pinned down under enemy fire on a mountainside are made vivid and gripping. The assault on Ciudad Juárez in 1911, the battles of Tierra Blanca, of Torreón, of Zacatecas, of Celaya, all are here, told with a feeling of great immediacy. This volume ends as Villa and Obregón prepare to engage each other in the war between victorious generals into which the Revolution degenerated before it finally ended.
Martín Luis Guzmán, eminent historian of Mexico, knew and traveled with Pancho Villa at various times during the Revolution. General Villa offered young Martín Luis a position as his secretary, but he declined. When many years later some of Villa's private papers, records, and what was apparently the beginning of an autobiography came into Guzmán's hands, he was ideally suited to blend all these into an authentic account of the Revolution as Pancho Villa saw it, and of the General's life as known only to Villa himself.
The Memoirs were first published in Mexico in 1951, where they were extremely popular; this volume was the first English publication. Virginia H. Taylor, translator in the Spanish Archives of the State of Texas Land Office, has accurately captured in English the flavor of the narrative.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
On June 23rd, 1914, the legendary División del Norte, commanded by General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, defeated the forces of then-president Victoriano Huerta and took the city of Zacatecas. After the decisive battle, the federales were unable to recover. The path to Mexico City—and ultimate victory—was clear for Villa and the revolutionaries. As Colonel Montejo, the narrator of Paco Taibo’s epic tale, says, “We broke their spine in Zacatecas. The rest was just a march south.”
In this remarkable graphic novel, Paco Ignacio Taibo II (a.k.a. PIT)—the prolific historian, biographer of Che Guevara and Pancho Villa, as well as the founder of Mexican neopolicial fiction—brings his tremendous storytelling skills to bear, united with stunning illustrations by the artist Eko that evoke traditional Day of the Dead imagery and the etchings of legendary Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas not only depicts one of the most decisive moments of the revolution, it also profiles, in glorified action, one of the most beloved heroes of contemporary Mexico.
Now translated into English and seamlessly adapted to ebook format, Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas is an unforgettable paean to the dramatic story of the Mexican Revolution that will fascinate history buffs, avid readers, and graphic novel enthusiasts alike.
Praise for Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas
"Like never before, maverick Mexican novelist, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, and visual virtuoso, Eko, bring to kinetic life a pivotal moment in Villa’s against-the-odds, David-Goliath battles with sitting oppressors—one that returned the power to the Mexican people. Extraordinarily energetic woodcut-art and a nimble narrative voice make this history showing and telling at its best!"—Frederick Luis Aldama, author of Your Brain on Latino Comics.
“It’s impossible to review [Taibo II’s] literary work without painting an ideological portrait. He’s probably the writer on the left with the proudest lineage of all those I’ve read.”—Christopher Domínguez Michael, Letras Libres
“Eko is in many ways a Renaissance artist who through archetypical characters and his work showing them to us recovers the essence (and drives) of humanity, and he shows them without objection.”—Jorge Rueda, Replicante
Paco Ignacio Taibo II, or PIT, was born in Gijón, Spain in 1949, before fleeing Franco’s dictatorship with his family in 1958. He has resided in Mexico City ever since, where he’s built a career as a writer, journalist, historian, biographer of Pancho Villa and Che Guevara, and, perhaps most crucially, a founder of the neopolicial fiction genre in Latin America. His books have been published in 29 countries and translated into nearly as many languages. In addition to being a prolific writer, he is an active member of the international crime writing community and organizes Semana Negra or “Noir Week” in his native Gijón. He has won the Latin American Dashiell Hammett Prize three times, as well as the Mexican Premio Planeta, and several other awards for international crime fiction.
Eko, born in Mexico in 1958, is a cartoonist, engraver, and painter. His wood etchings, often erotic in nature and the focus of controversial discussion, are part of a broader tradition in Mexican folk art popularized by José Guadalupe Posada. He has collaborated on projects for The New York Times, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Spanish daily El País, in addition to having published numerous books in Mexico and Spain.
Nina Arazoza is a recent graduate of Tufts University’s International Relations Program and an aspiring translator and publishing professional. Her enthusiasm for Latin American culture, history, and politics led her to Restless Books and Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas.
In this, the first English-language biography of Subcommander Marcos, Nick Henck describes the thought, leadership, and personality of this charismatic rebel spokesperson. He traces Marcos’s development from his provincial middle-class upbringing, through his academic career and immersion in the clandestine world of armed guerrillas, to his emergence as the iconic Subcommander. Henck reflects on what motivated an urbane university professor to reject a life of comfort in Mexico City in favor of one of hardship as a guerrilla in the mountainous jungles of Chiapas, and he examines how Marcos became a conduit through which impoverished indigenous Mexicans could communicate with the world.
Henck fully explores both the rebel leader’s renowned media savvy and his equally important flexibility of mind. He shows how Marcos’s speeches and extensive writings demonstrate not only the Subcommander’s erudition but also his rejection of Marxist dogmatism. Finally, Henck contextualizes Marcos, locating him firmly within the Latin American guerrilla tradition.
Samuel Ramos’s avowed purpose is to assist in the spiritual reform of Mexico by developing a theory that might explain the real character of Mexican culture. His approach is not flattering to his fellow citizens. After an analysis of the historical forces that have molded the national psychology, Ramos concludes that the Mexican sense of inferiority is the basis for most of the Mexican’s spiritual troubles and for the shortcomings of the Mexican culture.
Ramos subscribes to neither of the two major opposing schools of thought as to what norms should direct the development of Mexican culture. He agrees neither with the nationalists, who urge a deliberate search for originality and isolation from universal culture, nor with the “Europeanizers,” who advocate abandonment of the life around them and a withdrawal into the modes of foreign cultures. Ramos thinks that Mexico’s hope lies in a respect for the good in native elements and a careful selection of those foreign elements that are appropriate to Mexican life. Such a sensible choice of foreign elements will result not in imitation, but in assimilation. Combined with the nurturing of desirable native elements, it will result in an independent cultural unit, “a new branch grafted onto world culture.”
Ramos finds in Mexico no lack of intelligence or vitality: “It needs only to learn.” And he believes that the future is Mexico’s, that favorable destinies await a Mexico striving for the elevation of humanity, for the betterment of life, for the development of all the national capacities.
The History of Mexico is an authoritative examination of the diverse factors that have shaped the nation's experience. Coverage includes the Aztec Empire, the largest empire in MesoAmerica before the Spanish arrival; the period of Spanish dominance starting in the early 16th century; and Mexico's history as an independent nation since 1821. With this broad analysis in hand, students will be well prepared to discuss and evaluate the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
Fire & Blood brilliantly depicts the succession of tribes and societies that have variously called Mexico their home, their battleground, and their legacy. This is the tale of the indigenous people who forged from this rugged terrain a wide-ranging civilization; of the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec dynasties, which exercised their sophisticated powers through bureaucracy and religion; of the Spanish conquistadors, whose arrival heralded death, disease, and a new vision of continental domination. Author T. R. Fehrenbach connects these threads with the story of modern-day, independent Mexico, a proud nation struggling to balance its traditions against opportunities that often seem tantalizingly out of reach.
From the Mesoamerican empires to the Spanish Conquest and the Mexican Revolution, peopled by the legendary personalities of Mexican history—Montezuma, Cortés, Santa Anna, Juárez, Maximilian, Díaz, Pancho Villa, and Zapata—Fire & Blood is a “deftly organized and well-researched” work of popular history (Library Journal).
The authors offer a comprehensive and authoritative study of Mexico's turbulent recent history, a history that increasingly intertwines with that of the United States. Given the level of interest in Mexico—likely to increase still more as a result of the recent liberalization of trade policies—this volume will be useful in affording U.S. readers an intelligent, comprehensive, and accessible study of their neighbor to the south.
In masterfully weaving together a multiplicity of voices, Poniatowska has reasserted the inherent value and latent power of people working together. Punctuated by Poniatowska's own experiences and observations, these post disaster testimonies speak of the disruption of families and neighborhoods, of the destruction of homes and hospitals, of mutilation and death—the collective loss of a city. Drawing the reader dramatically into the scene of national horror through dozens of personal stories, Poniatowska demonstrates the importance of courage and self-reliance in redeeming life from chaos.
Ricardo Ainslie went to Juárez to try to understand what was taking place behind the headlines of cartel executions and other acts of horrific brutality. In The Fight to Save Juárez, he takes us into the heart of Mexico's bloodiest city through the lives of four people who experienced the drug war from very different perspectives—Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, a mid-level cartel player's mistress, a human rights activist, and a photojournalist. Ainslie also interviewed top Mexican government strategists, including members of Calderón's security cabinet, as well as individuals within U.S. law enforcement. The dual perspective of life on the ground in the drug war and the "big picture" views of officials who are responsible for the war's strategy, creates a powerful, intimate portrait of an embattled city, its people, and the efforts to rescue Juárez from the abyss.
The book is divided into two parts. Part One concerns the period from the Spanish Conquest of 1521 to the Revolution of 1910. The authors depict the main features of the estate system that existed both before and after the Spanish Conquest, the nature of stratification on the haciendas that dominated the countryside for roughly four centuries, and the importance of race and ethnicity in both the estate system and the class structures that accompanied and followed it. Part Two portrays the class structure of the post-revolutionary period (1920 onward), emphasizing the demise of the landed aristocracy, the formation of new upper and middle classes, the explosive growth of the urban lower classes, and the final phase of the Indian-mestizo transition in the countryside.
An in-depth examination of la Resistencia Juarense, Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez draws on ethnographic research to analyze the resistance's focus on violence against women, as well as its clash with the war against drugs championed by Mexican President Felipe Calderón with the support of the United States. Through grounded insights, the authors trace the transformation of hidden discourses into public discourses that openly challenge the militarized border regimes. The authors also explore the advocacy carried on by social media, faith-based organizations, and peace-and-justice activist Javier Sicilia while Calderón faced U.S. political schisms over the role of border trade in this global manufacturing site.
Bringing to light on-the-ground strategies as well as current theories from the fields of sociology, political anthropology, and human rights, this illuminating study is particularly significant because of its emphasis on the role of women in local and transnational attempts to extinguish a hot zone. As they overcome intimidation to become game-changing activists, the figures featured in Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez offer the possibility of peace and justice in the wake of seemingly irreconcilable conflict.
Well before their first contact with Europeans or Anglo-Americans, the three women’s societies of origin—the Aztecs of Central Mexico (Malinche), the Powhatans of the mid-Atlantic coast (Pocahontas), and the Shoshones of the northern Rocky Mountains (Sacagawea)—were already dealing with complex ethnic tensions and social change. Using wit and diplomacy learned in their Native cultures and often assigned to women, all three individuals hoped to benefit their own communities by engaging with the new arrivals. But as historian Rebecca Kay Jager points out, Europeans and white Americans misunderstood female expertise in diplomacy and interpreted indigenous women’s cooperation as proof of their attraction to Euro-American men and culture. This confusion has created a historical misrepresentation of Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea as gracious Indian princesses, giving far too little credit to their skills as intermediaries.
Examining their initial contact with Europeans and their work on multinational frontiers, Jager removes these three famous icons from the realm of mythology and cultural fantasy and situates each woman’s behavior in her own cultural context. Drawing on history, anthropology, ethnohistory, and oral tradition, Jager demonstrates their shrewd use of diplomacy and fulfillment of social roles and responsibilities in pursuit of their communities’ future advantage.
Jager then goes on to delineate the symbolic roles that Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea came to play in national creation stories. Mexico and the United States have molded their legends to justify European colonization and condemn it, to explain Indian defeat and celebrate indigenous prehistory. After hundreds of years, Malinche, Pocahontas and Sacagawea are still relevant. They are the symbolic mothers of the Americas, but more than that, they fulfilled crucial roles in times of pivotal and enduring historical change. Understanding their stories brings us closer to understanding our own histories.
Opening Mexico is a narrative history of the citizens' movement which dismantled the kleptocratic one-party state that dominated Mexico in the twentieth century, and replaced it with a lively democracy. Told through the stories of Mexicans who helped make the transformation, the book gives new and gripping behind-the-scenes accounts of major episodes in Mexico's recent politics.
Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, led by presidents who ruled like Mesoamerican monarchs, came to be called "the perfect dictatorship." But a 1968 massacre of student protesters by government snipers ignited the desire for democratic change in a generation of Mexicans. Opening Mexico recounts the democratic revolution that unfolded over the following three decades. It portrays clean-vote crusaders, labor organizers, human rights monitors, investigative journalists, Indian guerrillas, and dissident political leaders, such as President Ernesto Zedillo-Mexico's Gorbachev. It traces the rise of Vicente Fox, who toppled the authoritarian system in a peaceful election in July 2000.
Opening Mexico dramatizes how Mexican politics works in smoke-filled rooms, and profiles many leaders of the country's elite. It is the best book to date about the modern history of the United States' southern neighbor-and is a tale rich in implications for the spread of democracy worldwide.
Jaime Suchlicki indicates that Mexico's turbulent history contains recurring and often contradictory trends. He convincingly describes how that history contributes to Mexico's current and arguably future difficulties. With an engaging style that brings a colorful story to life, the author provides sophisticated insights into the exciting historical development of America's increasingly important trading partner. Mexico contains numerous rare photographs and offers an up-to-date perspective on Mexico of today and tomorrow, including an assessment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its implications for the future of United States-Mexican relations.
Upon its initial release, Mexico was hailed by Mario Ojeda Gomez, president of El Colegio de Mexico âas provocative and current. The writing is sharp and the ideas are clear and original. Suchlicki has focused on important aspects of Mexico's history and has explained them with intelligence, selecting what is really significant.â And Manuel Suarez Mier of the Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) writes that Suchlicki's book is âobjective and appreciative, and will enable readers to better understand Mexico and its behavior. This is a fascinating and timely book.â
'Something more than an historical document of the first importance...his narrative is so readable that one's interest and admiration are equally divided between the stupendous events he records and the charming revelations of his own character.' Saturday Review.
Four eye-witnesses of the discovery and conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards have left written records, but of these the present volume and the letters of Cortés (Volume 14) are by far the most important.
The Mixtec region has been the focus of much recent archaeological and ethnohistorical activity. In this volume, Spores and Balkansky incorporate the latest available research to show that the Mixtecs, along with their neighbors the Valley and Sierra Zapotec, constitute one of the world’s most impressive civilizations, antecedent to—and equivalent to—those of the better-known Maya and Aztec. Employing what they refer to as a “convergent methodology,” the authors combine techniques and results of archaeology, ethnohistory, linguistics, biological anthropology, ethnology, and participant observation to offer abundant new insights on the Mixtecs’ multiple transformations over three millennia.
Pancho Villa: A Biography provides a compelling life story full of adventure, the events of which helped defined the course of modern Mexico. Through the lens of Villa's personal experience, author Alejandro Quintana offers an appealing, accessible interpretation of the complex turn of events that define the violence, confusion, chaos, and transformation in Mexico between 1910 and 1923. Organized chronologically, the book details the social tensions under the ruthless rule of dictator Porfirio Díaz; documents Villa's rise into becoming the most powerful military leader of the revolution; analyzes the civil war that resulted from Villa's differences with the revolutionary political leadership; and describes the reasons for his decline and eventual assassination.
But the market is booming: In 2009, more people in the United States bought recreational drugs than ever before. In 2009, the United Nations reported that some $350 billion in drug money had been successfully laundered into the global banking system the prior year, saving it from collapse.
How does an "extra" $350 billion in the global economy affect the murder rate in Mexico? To get the story and connect the dogs, acclaimed journalist John Gibler travels across Mexico and slips behind the frontlines to talk with people who live in towns under assault: newspaper reporters and crime-beat photographers, funeral parlor workers, convicted drug traffickers, government officials, cab drivers and others who find themselves living on the lawless frontiers of the drug war. Gibler tells hair-raising stories of wild street battles, kidnappings, narrow escapes, politicians on the take, and the ordinary people who fight for justice as they seek solutions to the crisis that is tearing Mexico apart. Fast-paced and urgent, To Die in Mexico is an extraordinary look inside the raging drug war, and its global implications.
"Gibler's front-line reportage coupled with first-rate analysis gives an uncommonly vivid and nuanced picture of a society riddled and enervated by corruption, shootouts, and raids, where murder is the 'most popular method of conflict resolution.' . . . At great personal risk, the author unearths stories the mainstream media doesn't–or is it too afraid–to cover, and gives voice to those who have been silenced or whose stories have been forgotten." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Gibler argues passionately to undercut this 'case study in failure.' The drug barons are only getting richer, the murders mount and the police and military repression expand as 'illegality increases the value of the commodity.' With legality, both U.S. and Mexican society could address real issues of substance abuse through education and public-health initiatives. A visceral, immediate and reasonable argument." —Kirkus Reviews
"Gibler provides a fascinating and detailed insight into the history of both drug use in the US and the 'war on drugs' unleashed by Ronald Reagan through the very plausible – but radical – lens of social control. . . . Throughout this short but powerful book, Gibler accompanies journalists riding the grim carousel of death on Mexico's streets, exploring the realities of a profession under siege in states such as Sinaloa and just how they cover the drugs war." —Gavin O’Toole, The Latin American Review of Books
John Gibler is a writer based in Mexico and California, the author of Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt (City Lights Books, 2009), and a contributor to País de muertos: Crónicas contra la impunidad (Random House Mondadori, 2011). He is a correspondent for KPFA in San Francisco and has published in magazines in the United States and Mexico, including Left Turn, Z Magazine, Earth Island Journal, ColorLines, Race, Poverty, and the Environment Fifth Estate, New Politics, In These Times, Yes! Magazine, Contralínea, and Milenio Semanal.
Levi considers lucha libre in light of scholarship about sport, modernization, and the formation of the Mexican nation-state, and in connection to professional wrestling in the United States. She examines the role of secrecy in wrestling, the relationship between wrestlers and the characters they embody, and the meanings of the masks worn by luchadors. She discusses male wrestlers who perform masculine roles, those who cross-dress and perform feminine roles, and female wrestlers who wrestle each other. Investigating the relationship between lucha libre and the mass media, she highlights the history of the sport’s engagement with television: it was televised briefly in the early 1950s, but not again until 1991. Finally, Levi traces the circulation of lucha libre symbols in avant-garde artistic movements and its appropriation in left-wing political discourse. The World of Lucha Libre shows how a sport imported from the United States in the 1930s came to be an iconic symbol of Mexican cultural authenticity.
Drawing on a dozen years of archaeological and historical investigation, Allan Meyers breaks new ground in the study of Yucatán haciendas. He explores a plantation village called San Juan Bautista Tabi, which once stood at the heart of a vast sugar estate. Occupied for only a few generations, the village was abandoned during the revolutionary upheaval. Its ruins now lie within a state-owned ecological reserve.
Through oral histories, archival records, and physical remains, Meyers examines various facets of the plantation landscape. He presents original data and fresh interpretations on settlement organization, social stratification, and spatial relationships. His systematic approach to "things underfoot," small everyday objects that are now buried in the tropical forest, offers views of the hacienda experience that are often missing in official written sources. In this way, he raises the voices of rural, mostly illiterate Maya speakers who toiled as laborers. What emerges is a portrait of hacienda social life that transcends depictions gleaned from historical methods alone.
Students, researchers, and travelers to Mexico will all find something of interest in Meyers's lively presentation. Readers will see the old haciendas—once forsaken but now experiencing a rebirth as tourist destinations—in a new light. These heritage sites not only testify to social conditions that prevailed before the Mexican Revolution, but also remind us that the human geography of modern Yucatán is as much a product of plantation times as it is of more ancient periods.