AVANZADA: ""Progress by Mariano Azuela

AVANZADA: ""Progress

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This is a less violent book than the author's revolutionary novel, Los de Abajo (translated as The Underdogs), but it reveals the vital problems of the lower classes with equal lucidity. The agricultural and labor themes divide the story into two novelettes, and subordinate the love interest to a minor key. Adolfo comes back from the United States to his parents' little finca, superficially Americanized. He scorns their traditional farming methods, mortgages the place to buy modern machinery. A ruinous hall interrupts the harvest, unskilled workers abuse the tractors. When his father's hard work saves the crop, the agaristas confiscate the land. In the second part, Adolfo, with his bride, Margarita, finds work on a coastal sugar employee instead of employer, in the thick of labor conflicts. Unions clash -- Adolfo is involved, betrayed, and killed the night he expected to return to his old village. This is a thoughtful picture of Mexican youth, caught between two regimes, trying to see the way in the Mexican new deal, with practical difficulties obstructing the vision, man's cruelty under labor syndicates no great improvement over the inefficiency of pre-revolutionary days and one evil exchanged for another. A questioning, provocative book, recommended to those who are curious about what is going on in the Indian mind today.

Publisher: Ediciones Bota