Our World: MEXICO by Dorothy Witton

Our World: MEXICO

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None of the many, many young juveniles on Mexico is exemplary, and the flaws in this one are not unique. Primarily it's a matter of perspective--ours: Mexico is characterized by comparison with the U.S. and viewed in cliche terms of contrasts between old and new. Neither are the facts cogently presented: ""there are not many great rivers. . . because of the mountains,"" and lakes are ""scarce"" too the distinctive dress of various Indian tribes is described, but ""the every-day dress of village Indians is almost the same, everywhere in Mexico."" Much, much is made of the racial composition of the population, the ""hot and cold"" temperament of the Mexican being attributed to the ""opposite characteristics"" of Spaniards and Indians. The odds and ends of information are not necessarily related or even relevant: what does it signify that ""Germany buys ten percent"" of Mexican coffee exports? The section on history is cursory, that on government obscurantist in not defining the nature of Mexican ""democracy."" So is the sunny discussion of relations with the U.S. We learn something of Mexico's topography and climate, its manufactured products and natural resources, its agricultural problems and progress; the visit to a village family is marred by such irrelevancies as ""no sheets;"" the description of ""arts and fiestas"" by a reference to ""pagan gods."" Take it or leave it for What it's worth--no more (maybe less) than an encyclopedia entry.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1969
Publisher: Messner