The Mexicans: A Personal Portrait of a People

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Harper Collins, Jun 23, 2009 - History - 352 pages
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The Mexicans is a multifaceted portrait of the complex, increasingly turbulent neighbor to our south. It is the story of a country in crisis -- poverty, class tensions, political corruption -- as told through stories of individuals.

From Augustín, an honest cop, we learn that many in the Mexican police force use torture as their number-one-crime-solving technique; from Julio Scherer Garcia, a leading newspaper editor, we learn how kidnapping and intimidating phone calls stifle people despite his meager income; we hear from a homosexual teacher wary of bigotry in a land of machismo; and many others.

Moving from Mexico City discos to remote Indian towns, Patrick Oster tells of Mexicans whose lives reveal something vital about Mexico, and in doing so, helps to understand why many decide to risk their lives in order to have the opportunity to live in the United States.

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User Review  - jmatson - LibraryThing

A somewhat dated, but relevant study of Mexico and a variety of it's people. Well written and helpful in understanding our neighbors to the south. Read full review

The Mexican: a personal portrait of a people

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

To correct Americans' lack of understanding of Mexico, Oster combines human interest stories, many collected during his years as a Knight-Ridder reporter in Mexico, with carefully interwoven ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Patrick Oster grew up in the Chicago area, where he practiced law before taking up journalism as a career in 1973. He spent ten years in Washington, D.C., from the end of Watergate to the beginning of the second Reagan administration. He was Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. He covered the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon, specializing in foreign affairs most of this time. He traveled to about fifty countries in the process.

In 1984, he became the Mexico City bureau chief for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain. He has won awards from the Overseas Press Club and the Inter-American Press Foundation for his coverage of Mexico and Latin America. More recently, he has been editor in chief of the National Law Journal and now lives with his wife and son in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

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