Memoir of the former Mexican president, whose remarkable rise to power was followed by a six-year tenure in office that was marked by an extraordinary upswing in the country’s fortunes.
Published less than a year after his presidency came to a close, this wide-ranging overview of Fox’s life unfolds at a furious pace, as he catalogs his many personal and professional achievements. Fox and co-author Allyn keep the political rhetoric to a minimum, only occasionally lapsing into corny sweeping statements about the state of the world. Instead, they focus on Fox’s transformation from a truck driver for Coca-Cola to the first Mexican president to be elected from an opposition party since 1920. The book initially focuses on Fox’s early life, offering insight into his upbringing, details about his family life and vivid descriptions of the poverty that beset the country in the future president’s formative years. Though his family was by no means wealthy, his father’s career as a ranchero earned enough for Fox to study at a Jesuit school in Wisconsin. Menial jobs followed, and, in a move that paralleled his astounding rise to president, Fox managed to work his way up from truck driver to CEO of Coca-Cola’s Mexican operation. As Fox reveals his admirable achievements, he litters the text with asides, comments and anecdotes, most of which make for revealing and entertaining reading. He unravels his encounter with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Fox had his own “Schwarzenegger problem,” as his mother was not a native Mexican citizen), offers his timely opinion on Barack Obama, discusses his differences with George W. Bush, presents a passionate argument for globalization and explains why he’s a voracious reader of political memoirs. These elements, along with the thrilling descriptions of the buildup to Fox’s election victory, provide a welcome personal touch to an already well-documented story.
Cynics looking for PR spin may be surprised by this book, which is driven by Fox’s undeniable raconteurial skills and his keen eye for drama.