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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Textbook on the Subject Available
Meyer and Sherman's classic work is the best starting point for understanding Mexico's rich history. It is easy to read with many illustrations, yet sophisticated and complete. The authors take us from Mexico's early Indian civilizations through the Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest. The Colonial period recieves somewhat brief treatment, but the revolution and early...
Published on September 28, 1999 by Eric Gartman

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars typical college text
This is a general narrative summary of Mexican history. It is not very deep on anything, has few direct quotes from primary materials, but it's organized fairly well. For the beginner - or college student who is not very intellectually ambitious or curious - it's OK. For anyone else, I'd advise buying the really excellent Mexico Reader, Duke Univ Press, edited by Gil...
Published on March 14, 2007 by Susan Gzesh


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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Textbook on the Subject Available, September 28, 1999
By 
Eric Gartman (Bethesda, MD USA) - See all my reviews
Meyer and Sherman's classic work is the best starting point for understanding Mexico's rich history. It is easy to read with many illustrations, yet sophisticated and complete. The authors take us from Mexico's early Indian civilizations through the Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest. The Colonial period recieves somewhat brief treatment, but the revolution and early independence period do not. The Porfiriato and Revolution of 1910 are carefully examined,as is the post-1940 era. The authors treat their material with great reverance and are careful with their moral judgements of the many controversial actors.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, a little light on details, October 11, 2002
Overall, this was a good survey of Mexican history. The writing style was easy to read--not as dense as most history text books-- and was informative on more than just facts. This books covers pre-Colombian history, the Conquest, the fight for independence from Spain, and the evolution (and revolutions) that occured after independence. Also, this book goes into more than just historical fact by expressing ideas that spread through the country, cultural changes, and political trends. This is a great place to start learning about Mexico and, with the recommended reading lists at the end of each chapter, a good reference if a person wants more details on a specific subject covered in the book.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Single Volume History, August 1, 2000
This is perhaps the best comprehensive history of Mexico written in English that exists. The authors have been painstaking in their research and provide many, many sources and citations but do not litter the work with a cumbersome academic citation apparatus. Best of all, the provide an annotated bibliography of works in Spanish for the Mexican scholar.
The history of Mexico is astonishingly rich and complex, riven with conflict, religious strife, and fundamental disagreements about constitutionalism, liberalism (small L) and foreign entanglments. It is also a sad story with near constant violence and upheaval. The redeeming feature of the history, and what pulls the story along and saves it from the maudalin, is the stoic character of the mexican people.
This is comprehensive work that deals in turn with society, culture, economics, religion and politics. Being a single volume work, it certainly gives brief treatments of many topics. As a prior reviewer notes, the colonial period is not treated as deeply as others. But then again, it was three hundered years of economic explotation and social subjugation, what is left to say?
This is an excellent work for the Mexican enthusiast, for serious historians as well as for Americans of all persuasions.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent recommendation!, September 27, 2002
By A Customer
I grew up in Mexico. For years, the best source on Mexican history was a 4-volume set published by the Colegio de México, the authoritative and ultra-elitist "Mexican Harvard." It was the best because nobody could read it (no one dared criticize this monstrosity)!
The Course of Mexican History is magnificent in contrast. Since I found the fifth edition this year, you can be sure that the authors don't neglect their incredible labor!
I believe the contents and lengths of chapters are well balanced. You probably have to live in the country to understand her history, and you might only get the gist of it.
A truly remarkable find!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mexican History Book in English, June 26, 2002
By 
Richard Warner (Crawfordsville, IN United States) - See all my reviews
This is a required purchase for Mexican History enthusiasts. The latest edition represents a significant improvement in coverage of "peripheral" regions. Mexican narrative histories in any language tend to privilege the central valley (Aztecs, Mexico City, etc.) I suspect that the improvement is due to the work of Susan Deeds, an expert in northern Mexico. Some may find the balance still tilts to the colonial period, but that is appropriate given the extraordinary formative power of these years for Mexican history and cultures. Nice visuals, tables and organization make this a superb value and a wonderful gift for the Mexican history enthusiast.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primer - too much colonial history, June 12, 2002
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This book is an excellent introduction to the history of Mexico, beginning with the Olmecs and continuing on to the present. Meyer does an excellent job covering not only historical events, but also grounding those events in the relevant cultural and societal settings. He really helps you to understand why Moctezuma was so complacent against Cortez, and to understand the motivations of the conquistadores, etc. Overall, his coverage of the Conquest is outstanding.
I also feel that his coverage of modern events is informative, though it does much less to make you understand the modern Mexican cultural and societal dynamic than was the case for the era of the Conquest.
Where this book bogs down a great deal is in the discussion of the period stretching from the beginning of the Colonial period up to the Revolution. There is little grounding for the discussion of the independence movement - one gets the impression that it sort of just happened... The same thing is true for the Revolution. Meyer hits his stride again once the Revolution gets going, but you have 200 pages in the middle that are nowhere near as good as the beginning and end.
Still, this is an excellent introduction to Mexican history that I greatly enjoyed. I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about a thoroughly fascinating country.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars typical college text, March 14, 2007
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This is a general narrative summary of Mexican history. It is not very deep on anything, has few direct quotes from primary materials, but it's organized fairly well. For the beginner - or college student who is not very intellectually ambitious or curious - it's OK. For anyone else, I'd advise buying the really excellent Mexico Reader, Duke Univ Press, edited by Gil Joseph et al. The Mexico Reader is a terrific compendium of original sources covering all the same periods and can be used as a complement or in place of this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indespensible book, April 13, 2008
As an undergraduate student of history and a Mexican born dual citizen I find this book to be a great work of historical analysis and research. I own the 2003 edition, thus I have owned it for several years. When I came to study abroad in Mexico, this was one of the books I brought with me. The authors hold an objective tone in their easy-to-read scholarly writing. It is very comprehensive and it includes various sub-themes per chapter such as: Women and Society, Culture and Society, Intellectuals and Society, etc.

It also includes various helpful charts and tables to explain data and recent information. As any concise history, it is very brief on some important events but nonetheless it includes the most important facts of the events. For example, the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968 is explained in a couple pages, but the elements of the basics are there.

I have used this book to do my essays and research both in California and in Mexico. I strongly recommend this book to any student of history, politics, or economy and to the lay and curious reader as well.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Description, September 26, 2004
This review is from: The Course of Mexican History (Paperback)
If you notice the description of the book, please keep in mind that there is a small typo, it states "Topics covered include pre-Columbian cultures, such as the Incas and the Mayas"

Mexico has nothing to do with the Incas, that would be Peru. But beyond this small error, the book was a good read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Mexican History, December 17, 2006
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This review is from: The Course of Mexican History (Paperback)
Sherman, Myers and Deeds have the best book on Mexican history that can be found. It covers all aspects from the social and cultural to the military and political. It is very well written with plenty of pictures so you can visualize what happened at each point. The analysis is truly top notch and one of the great assets of this book is the wonderful suggested reading at the end of each chapter. It really allows you to learn all about Mexico and then go back and read further on the parts you find the most interesting. This is an essential book for any latin American history library and one that will live on throughout the ages. It is updated regularly although any edition is a great start to learning about Mexico. Whether you are an expert or a beginner you will find this book useful.
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The Course of Mexican History
The Course of Mexican History by Michael C. Meyer (Paperback - October 31, 2002)
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