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The Mexican Shock: Its Meaning for the United States Paperback – October 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565843126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565843127
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,165,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The United States has long misunderstood its neighbor to the south, writes a distinguished Mexican scholar, and the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement has not helped matters. "After years of being perceived largely as a problem for Washington," he argues, "Mexico now became part of the solution: an apparently growing, dynamic, 'emerging' market for U.S. goods and services--especially those unable to penetrate other markets and appeal to other tastes." It earned that vision after a misleading campaign by the Bush and Clinton administrations to portray Mexico as progressive, democratic, and reform-minded, qualities far from the truth. Updating Octavio Paz's critique of power in Mexico, Castañeda calls for thoroughgoing reforms in the Mexican government, and he offers thoughts on matters like the murder of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio and the inability of the young technocrats who now rule Mexico to replace the old system of one-party rule with democratic institutions. This well-reasoned book of history and current events has excited much discussion, and it deserves our attention.

From Publishers Weekly

One of Mexico's leading progressive critics, Casta?eda (Utopia Unarmed) offers a savvy challenge to his home country's ruling elite and to Americans who believe an economic bailout will salve Mexico's wounds. Mexico, he reminds us, remains far more polarized than its mostly middle-class neighbor, and, as he warned presciently, free trade without attendant democratic and social reforms will not modernize Mexico. Now he advises his comrades not to fight for NAFTA's repeal but to mold it "into an instrument for growth with justice"; that would require the government to help civil society flourish by freeing unions and ending the television monopoly, among other reforms. Casta?eda offers detailed but accessible accounts of the Chiapas crisis, the 1994 elections and the factors contributing to Mexico's December 1994 economic collapse. He believes Mexico is in neither transition nor crisis but a state of slow deterioration. To break out of that, he observes pessimistically, there are no forces?only the institutional power of government?strong enough to steer Mexico on a new course.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By unraveler on July 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is informative and well-written. It argues that the economic problems of Mexico, and the 1994 financial crisis in particular, have deep political roots. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about Mexcio or international political economy. I only have one gripe with the book. Cataneda argues that Americans have always misunderstood Mexico. I think that this is true of many people, but not of everyone, and certainly not of American political elites. They may have presented Mexico as a long-standing problem for the U.S., an economically backward country which nevertheless is nearly democractic. But in reality, they understood the dynamics of Mexican politics quite well. I do not think that this book presents a revolutionary and shocking perspective. But those not very familiar with Mexico, or those who think that it is a democracy will find the book an eye-opening experience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best works I have read recently on Mexican politics. Castaneda's review is one of clarity and insight. This book is a great resource for analysis on the Mexican electoral system, popular dissent, and the history of the PRI. I highly recommend this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cori on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In his book castaneda discusses the immigration ocurring from Mexico to California, the inequality between the people and the voters. The inequality in Mxico with the economy and society and the corruption that is openly ocurring in the goverment. Castaneda fully explains his point of view about California and Mexico; by providing statistics, history and facts. He knows what he is writting about, the book is well written, except when he interrupts his book by referring to himself in the third person. It is a challenging book and it would be helpful to know some history about Mexico.
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