With a population of nearly 100 million people, Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Although contemporary American images of the country range from illegal border crossings to peasant uprisings, this important work uncovers a vital and volatile civilization with its roots in the indigenous Mayan, Olmec, and Aztec cultures, which collided with the conquering Spaniards who brought African slaves with them in the 16th century. "The course of Mexican history, as with that of any other nation, demonstrates amply that sincerity and guile can occupy the same page," the editors write. "There is much in the Mexican experience to command admiration and ennoble the human spirit, even if on a few occasions it might also cause an eyebrow to be raised."
In The Oxford History of Mexico, 21 scholars unravel Mexico's long history of Indian extermination, slavery, colonialism, and U.S. expansion with new information outlining environmental, gender, and pop culture studies, particularly comic books and telenova soap operas. They also detail the cultural growth and development of this nation. Of course, the great historical figures are also given close attention: Montezuma, the great Aztec leader; Hernán Cortés, the conquistador who brought down the Aztec empire; Malinche, Cortés' Indian mistress and interpreter; and Pancho Villa, who led the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Artistically, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and José Orozco are cited, as are writers such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Octavio Paz, and Carlos Fuentes. This is a comprehensive guide to a rich and varied country. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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From Library Journal
During the last 20 years, Mexican history has been reinterpreted and reevaluated. Meyer (history, emeritus, Univ. of Arizona; coauthor of The Course of Mexican History) and Beezley (history, Univ. of Arizona; coauthor of El Gran Pueblo) have compiled 20 previously unpublished essays by experts who explore Mexico from precolonial times to the present. Each expert contributes a chapter on his or her time period, and the essays reflect the latest research (as opposed to most single-author textbooks, which tend to summarize the studies of others). Several of the authors are Mexican, adding a dimension not often found in the writing of Americans on Mexico. Examining the country with new and different approaches, the contributors challenge traditional historical concepts on a variety of issues. This volume will be a valuable addition to most academic libraries as well as many public libraries with collections on Latin America and Mexico.DMark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ. Provo, UT
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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