Suggested Reading List
Mexico: Why a Few are Rich and the People are Poor
Author: Ramon E. Ruiz
Description: Explicitly focusing on the malaise of underdevelopment that has shaped the country since the Spanish conquest, Ramn Eduardo Ruiz offers a panoramic interpretation of Mexican history and culture from the pre-Hispanic and colonial eras through the twentieth century. Drawing on economics, psychology, literature, film, and history, he reveals how development processes have fostered glaring inequalities, uncovers the fundamental role of race and class in perpetuating poverty, and sheds new light on the contemporary Mexican reality. Throughout, Ruiz traces a legacy of dependency on outsiders, and considers the weighty role the United States has played, starting with an unjust war that cost Mexico half its territory. Based on Ruiz's decades of research and travel in Mexico, this penetrating work helps us better understand where the country has come, why it is where it is today, and where it might go in the future.
Beyond la Frontera: the History of Mexico-U.S. Migration
Author: Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, ed.
Description: Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date historical overview of Mexican migration to the U.S., Beyond la Frontera: The History of Mexico-U.S. Migration examines the transnational and historical impact of migratory trends as they developed in Mexico and the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Featuring essays by leading authors in the field, the book utilizes both a chronological and thematic structure, referencing mutually influential periods in Mexican and Mexican-American history. Taking into consideration the bi-national historical factors and narrative constructions of Mexican migration, Beyond la Frontera also describes how we may better understand the persistent legislative debates surrounding migrant rights and national sovereignty.
Mexico Today: Everyday Life in the Republic. 2 vols.
Author: Alex Saragoza, Ana Ambrosi, Sylvia Zarate, eds.
Mexico: What everyone needs to Know
Author: Roderick Ai Camp
Description: Today all would agree that Mexico and the United States have never been closer--that the fates of the two republics are inextricably intertwined. It has become an intimate part of life in almost every community in the United States, through immigration, imported produce, business ties, or illegal drugs. It is less a neighbor than a sibling; no matter what our differences, it is intricately a part of our existence.
In this outstanding contribution to Oxford's acclaimed series, What Everyone Needs to Know, Roderic Ai Camp gives readers the most essential information about our sister republic to the south. Camp organizes chapters around major themes--security and violence, economic development, foreign relations, the colonial heritage, and more. He asks questions that take us beyond the headlines: Why does Mexico have so much drug violence? What was the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement? How democratic is Mexico? Who were Benito Jurez and Pancho Villa? What is the PRI (the Institutional Revolutionary Party)? The answers are sometimes surprising. Despite ratification of NAFTA, for example, Mexico has fallen behind Brazil and Chile in economic growth and rates of poverty. Camp explains that lack of labor flexibility, along with low levels of transparency and high levels of corruption, make Mexico less competitive than some other Latin American countries. The drug trade, of course, enhances corruption and feeds on poverty; approximately 450,000 Mexicans now work in this sector. But Camp reveals that President Caldern's recent assault on narcotics smugglers--and the violence resulting from it--may have actually lessened the government's control of parts of the country and national institutions.
Brisk, clear, and informed, Mexico: What Everyone Needs To Know offers a valuable primer for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of our neighbor to the South.
The Storm that Swept Mexico: the Mexican Revolution
Author: Paradigm Productions, Ray Telles, Director
Description: Available on PBS website. Leading the initial wave of 20th century worldwide political and social upheavals, the Mexican revolution was the first major revolution to be filmed. The Storm That Swept Mexico incorporates photographs and motion pictures from the earliest days of cinema. Much of this material has never been seen before by North American and international audiences.
The first hour, The Tiger is Unleashed, charts the struggle by Francisco I. Madero and his followers to end the dictatorship of Porfirio Daz, and traces the emergence of two remarkable rebel leaders: Emiliano Zapata and General Francisco Pancho Villa. But the Revolution was not merely an internal affair; it was an international event, profoundly influenced by U.S. and European foreign policy.
The second hour, The Legacy, examines international influence on the Mexican revolution, investigating the extraordinary plan, hatched in Germany, to seek Mexicos support against the United States, if it was to enter World War I. In addition to the warfare, there was a cultural revolution as well. Beginning in the 1920s, and continuing through and beyond the 1940s, Mexican artists burst onto the international cultural stage, and Mexico City became the nexus of an indigenous art movement. Against this backdrop, the presidency of Lzaro Crdenas in many ways fulfills the promises of the revolution. But after Crdenass extraordinary administration, politics regress, and in 1968, shortly before Mexico City is to host the Olympics, a new type of revolution explodes.
Interviewing distinguished scholars from the disciplines of history, economics, literature, political science, womens studies, and art history, The Storm That Swept Mexico explores the beliefs and conditions that led to the revolution, influenced the course of the conflict, and determined its consequences over the century that followed.