The Life and Times of Mexico

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jan 17, 2006 - History - 800 pages
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A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. "A work of scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico." —History Today

The Life and Times of Mexico is a grand narrative driven by 3,000 years of history: the Indian world, the Spanish invasion, Independence, the 1910 Revolution, the tragic lives of workers in assembly plants along the border, and the experiences of millions of Mexicans who live in the United States. Mexico is seen here as if it were a person, but in the Aztec way; the mind, the heart, the winds of life; and on every page there are portraits and stories: artists, shamans, teachers, a young Maya political leader; the rich few and the many poor. Earl Shorris is ingenious at finding ways to tell this story: prostitutes in the Plaza Loreto launch the discussion of economics; we are taken inside two crucial elections as Mexico struggles toward democracy; we watch the creation of a popular "telenovela" and meet the country's greatest living intellectual. The result is a work of magnificent scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snooksmcdermott - LibraryThing

I actually like how he weaves historical information with his own experiences, but yeah, sometimes he waxes poetic and I start snoozing. It's also long and dense, so I have to keep renewing it at the library. Otherwise, an excellent overview of Mexican history and culture. Read full review

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MEXICO

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A superb portrait of Mexico, a nation still in the process of being built—perhaps, hopes Shorris (In the Yucatán, 2000, etc.), by "inserting freedom and fairness into its past in order to change its ... Read full review

Contents

Definitions
5
In the Beginning
17
Realpolitik and Dreams
35
An Imperfect Likeness
50
The Shamans Apprentice
66
The God of Bread and the God of Corn
77
The Mesoamerican Origins of Generosity
87
The Envious Origins of Generosity
94
The Dream of a Word
275
Totalitarian Threads
284
BOOK TWOThe Heart Teyolia
343
The Werejaguar
345
Diego Riveras Dogs
355
The Nationality of the Rose
363
Once There Was a Circle
383
Real Magic
399

The Chosen People
110
The Fate of Independents
123
The Conception of the Aztec
137
His Royal Highness
152
Centripetal Forces
167
The Defeat of Auguste Comte
189
Revolutionary Dreams
215
The Spirit of Madero
227
The Land of Zapata
245
Villas Angels
253
Carranza Obregón Calles and the Constitution
268
The Reinforcement of the Worst
428
BOOK THREEThe Liver Ihiyotl
457
Four Stages of Race and Class
459
A Savage Bite
480
A Dearth of Beginners
502
Maquiladora Nation
527
Where the Future Falls
544
The Book of Predictions
681
Two Oral Histories
717
In Place of a Bibliography
739
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Earl Shorris (1936–2012) was the author of many works of both fiction and non-fiction including Latinos, Under the Fifth Sun, In the Language of Kings, and Riches for the Poor. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Clinton for his founding of the Clemente Course in the Humanities , Inc.

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