Mexican National Identity: Memory, Innuendo, and Popular Culture
In this enlightening book, the well-known historian William Beezley contends that a Mexican national identity was forged during the nineteenth century not by a self-anointed elite but rather by a disparate mix of ordinary people and everyday events. In examining independence festivals, children’s games, annual almanacs, and the performances of itinerant puppet theaters, Beezley argues that these seemingly unrelated and commonplace occurrences—not the far more self-conscious and organized efforts of politicians, teachers, and others—created a far-reaching sense of a new nation. In the century that followed Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821, Beezley maintains, sentiments of nationality were promulgated by people who were concerned not with the promotion of nationalism but with something far more immediate—the need to earn a living. These peddlers, vendors, actors, artisans, writers, publishers, and puppeteers sought widespread popular appeal so that they could earn money. According to Beezley, they constantly refined their performances, as well as the symbols and images they employed, in order to secure larger revenues. Gradually they discovered the stories, acts, and products that attracted the largest numbers of paying customers. As Beezley convincingly asserts, out of “what sold to the masses” a collective national identity slowly emerged. Mexican National Identity makes an important contribution to the growing body of literature that explores the influences of popular culture on issues of national identity. By looking at identity as it was fashioned “in the streets,” it opens new avenues for exploring identity formation more generally, not just in Mexico and Latin American countries but in every nation.
Check out the New Books in History Interview with Bill Beezley!
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Almanacs and Loteria
Independence Celebrations and Representations
Itinerant Puppet Theater
The Plainsong of NineteenthCentury
Afro-Mexican almanacs American appeared Archivo Histůrico Artes audience became Beezley behavior Biblioteca Cabrera and Murray called capital city cards character church civic Colima collective colonial created culture dance Diaz don Folias drama El Negrito elite especially ethnic example expediente featured festivals fiestas float folkloric French Guadalajara Guanajuato Hidalgo holiday identified Iglesias Cabrera images included Independence Day individuals Jose Juan Juegos liberal Lizardi loteria Mangy Parrot Manuel marionettes memories Mexican Mexico City Miguel Moreover Murray Prisant Museo national identity Negrito nineteenth century Oaxaca offered officials oration parade Pastry War patriotic pesos Piel de papel plays political popular Porfirian Porfiriato Porfirio Porfirio Diaz Puebla puppet performances puppet theater Puppetry references regime religious represented Rodolfo Usigli San Luis PotosŪ Santa satire September 16 siglo social society Spain Spanish story symbol Teatro tion TŪteres Tlaxcala University Press Vale Coyote Veracruz Virgin of Guadalupe Zacatecas