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A New Time for Mexico Hardcover – June, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This collection of essays by Carlos Fuentes, Mexican intellectual, man of letters, and erstwhile diplomat, seeks to place his country's current convulsive state in a wider historical perspective. He discusses the Mexican Revolution of 1910 as a liberating moment, counterbalanced by a tendency toward a centralized authoritarianism that created the monolithic ruling party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI. Fuentes considers that the PRI was a progressive force originally, but that it became corrupted by the Mexican ruling class' elevation of Anglo-American forms of government, and the application of "savage capitalism" to the detriment of the Mexican people. Fuentes also talks about recent events, including the assassination of his friend, Luis Donaldo Colosio, the PRI presidential candidate, and he includes an exchange with Subcommander Marcos, the Zapatista leader.

From Publishers Weekly

In these vigorous essays, eminent Mexican novelist, critic and ex-diplomat Fuentes calls on Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo to take definitive steps toward a full democracy?electoral reform; equal access of candidates to the media; independent, aggressive labor unions; and, above all, true separation between the ruling party and the government. Arguing that NAFTA merely institutionalized the growing economic interrelationships of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, he charges that Americans, ever in need of an external enemy, unfairly characterize Mexico as unreliable, unable to govern itself and financially inept. He views the recent guerrilla uprising in Chiapas as symptomatic of a country divided between a relatively modern, prosperous north and an oppressed, backward south. Adding that the Chiapas rebellion has revealed the deep-rooted racism and intolerance of many Mexicans, Fuentes pleads for social justice for Mexico's Indian communities, devastated by poverty, alcohol and lack of social services. Offering lapidary, lyrical meditations on Mexico as a land of continual metamorphosis, Fuentes nostalgically reminisces about his home in Veracruz, whose port his father defended against a Yankee invasion in 1914.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (T) (June 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374221707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374221706
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,949,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on August 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Carlos Fuentes, along with Octavio Paz is considered to be one of the literary giants of contemporary Mexico. Old enough to have lived through the PRI's (Mexico's governing party)stronghold on Mexican politics, Fuentes shares his insights and expounds on such diverse topics as the mythology of Pre-Columbian Gods to modern Christianity, all the while tying everything into an historical description of Mexico and it's ruling party. He touches upon La Malinche and Cortes as the parents of modern Mexico. He discusses NAFTA and the future of Mexico including President Zedillo's influence on Mexico and it's international impact. The reading, at times can become a bit dense and esoteric but for anyone interested in the politics of Mexico, with an historical perspective, will find this essential reading. In order to understand the present and future, a solid understanding of the past is needed, according to Fuentes, as he covers all the major time periods of Mexico's past. This book is especially crucial to understanding the impending changes that may be brought about with the election of the countries first non-PRI president in the countries existence. Fuentes contends that the authoritarian government of modern Mexico is linked to the Aztec administrative structures established centuries ago. His writing style is spellbinding and you feel as though a professor is imparting some of his knowledge. According to Fuentes, we must heed Gellner's warning from his book Reason and Culture. "We cannot escape a contingent , history-bound culture, and we caannot vindicate it either". Fuentes has hopes for democracy in Mexico and just maybe with the demise of the PRI, his dreams, and the Mexican peoples may be realized.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful introduction to Mexican history, from the Conquest to the Zapatistas, from a writer almost more comfortable with poetry than prose. Fuentes is the rare intellectual who also speaks out for justice; he recently called upon the Mexican government to stop the militarization of Chiapas and to hold open peace talks. Every American should know at least as much about Mexico as is in this slim and easy to read volume. Salud!
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3 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
as usual, Fuentes plays the "every-man" of Mexican letters. He writes a fast book with anecdote with the intent of selling issues fast. A quick buck is not always a good one: same for a good BOOK.
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