An important investigation of Mexico's recent political, economic and social past—and its possibilities for the future.




An insightful firsthand examination of Mexico from 2000 to the present.

Based in Mexico City, foreign correspondent Tuckman looks at the political and economic arenas of Mexico since the overturn in 2000 of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), its long-term ruling party. When the National Action Party (PAN), led by Vicente Fox, took power, many Mexicans viewed this as a breath of fresh air, bringing change and hope to the country. However, Tuckman reveals that the ensuing 12 years have not lived up to that optimism, with the wheels of democracy slow to move in a country riddled with corporate greed, political corruption and escalating drug wars. The author's concentrated inspection gives readers a close look at the lawlessness of the numerous powerful drug cartels instilling fear in locals, migrating workers and even mainstream media with daily kidnappings and murders of those who stand in their way. Tuckman delves into racial discrimination, global warming and environmental concerns regarding Mexico's large oil fields, as well as the rise in floods and clean-water issues in Mexico City. She also examines the revolutionary actions of the Zapatistas in Chiapas and a flare-up in Oaxaca in 2006 that bears comparison to the uprisings seen recently in the Middle East. Not all is lost, however, as recent presidents have attempted to "regreen" deforested areas, tourism continues to rise, and Mexican food products are found around the world thanks to trade agreements. With the upcoming presidential election, Mexicans are once again hoping for a political leader who can “kick-start the levels of growth required to transform the country from a bastion of poverty and inequality into a burgeoning middle-class nation.”

An important investigation of Mexico's recent political, economic and social past—and its possibilities for the future.

Pub Date: June 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-300-16031-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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