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Triumphs and Tragedy: A History of the Mexican People Paperback – January 23, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

May very likely become the most accessible and comprehensive introduction in English to Mexico's past and present. . . . A triumph. "

An excellent book that will set a new standard for general histories of Mexico. . . . Well written, pithy, and thought-provoking. It is a sweeping, magisterial study that goes far beyond the usual pallid tone of most general histories of Mexico on either side of the border. As a student of Mexico, Ruiz has few peers, and this work will establish a new standard. --Alex M. Saragoza, University of California, Berkeley"

Hard-hitting without being doctrinaire, this vastly illuminating people's history gives value to the collective trauma of a nation decimated by Spanish colonial rule, betrayed by corrupt politicos and incompetent army chiefs, then manipulated into servile dependence on its neighbor to the north. "

From the Back Cover

This epic history of Mexico tells the story of that country's tumultuous origin and development--from its Olmec, Aztec, and Mayan heritage to its present-day incarnation as a dependent, struggling, and economically unstable modern country. The history of Mexico, writes Ramon Eduardo Ruiz, one of our most distinguished Mexicanists, is one long tragedy intermittently punctuated by triumph.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised ed. edition (August 17, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393310663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393310665
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Ruiz uses the most dense prose I have ever encountered. If you have the time and the patience, out of this dense prose emerges a detailed account of Mexican history. Ruiz has gone to great lenghts to obtain personal histories and personality profiles of hundreds of key figures in Mexican history, and uses this information to weave a tale that shows how not only political machinations but personal foibles and ambitions interact to create history. His story encompasses romance, war, and economic figures, and is told with a surprising bit of subtle irony, while striving to maintain an objective view of events. This book is for history buffs who love to read lengthy tomes, but is not meant for Cliff's notes fans.
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Even though this book is almost 20 years old, it is still a very good book about Mexican History. I like the way he writes and describes history in Englsih. The information is also great! I recommend it 100%!
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This book is one of the best I have ever read on Mexican History. It is very scholarly and intellectually profound.
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Essential reading for anyone who wants to begin to understand Mexican History. The work reaches into literature, art, and philosophy as well as historical studies. An overwhelming achievement.
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How can I keep reading into the centuries Ruiz, by default, knows more about when the opening pages contain so many howlers? Ruiz is a U.S.-born author who has swallowed the Black Legend of those atrocious Spaniards whole. "Alienation also included the Spanish assault on family kinship ties..." (p. 16) Then why does Mexico have the lowest divorce rate in the world? Whence its wealth of thirty million unassimilated Indians? (CIA Country Facts website.) How can he write of the two proud civilizations Mexicans embody when, in the same sentence, one was destroyed by the other?

I'm a bleeding-heart CA liberal from Concord, MA, and I like facts. Regrettably, to teach in the UC system, one must stoke the soothing flames of ethnic rage even if it means making things up.
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