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The Life and Times of Mexico Paperback – January 17, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
This threatens to be one more of those hefty tomes that Mexico has a way of inspiring. But fear not: this 3,000-year history not only distinguishes itself in a field of worthy contenders but does so with flair and insight. An essayist, novelist (Under the Fifth Sun), sociologist (Latinos: A Biography of the People) and National Humanities Medal recipient, Shorris employs his Renaissance man-of-letters credentials to great effect here. Eschewing a more traditional political point of entry to the U.S.'s southern neighbor, he structures a series of narratives, vignettes and analysis around the Aztec concepts of head, heart and liver. Tonalli, the center of vital power, is the section on history and philosophy. Teyolia, the soul located in the heart, treats art and literature, family and essential character. Ihiyotl, located in the liver, is the center of survival and covers education, economics, politics, corruption and race. Shorris closes with a look to the future and two oral histories, deliberately contrasting "other, far less edited" voices with his own. Though there are more than a few moments when Shorris's prose veers dangerously close to purple, the overall effect is a beautiful, passionate and powerful account of a nation that American readers can ill afford to ignore. 32 pages of illus., 3 maps not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With Hispanics now the largest minority group in the U.S., and the North American Free Trade Agreement becoming a dominant issue in this year's presidential election, the importance of the U.S. relationship with Mexico has increased faster than you can say "Viva Bush." Likewise, Mexico itself has transformed dramatically over the past century; once a rural land of farmers, it today tops 100 million people, three-fourths of whom live in cities. And now, says Shorris, this nation known for its "obsession with history" must tackle critical problems--reforming its political-party system, developing new industries, ensuring equality for its indigenous population--to move into the future. In this important, impassioned book, Shorris offers a sweeping look at the country that first entranced him as a child, tracing its history from 3,000 B.C.E., when hunter-gatherers domesticated corn and thus remade society, and delving into art, education, race, corruption, and philosophy. It's elegantly and simply written, and the author expertly uses the lives of everyday Mexicans to tell the story and draw in the reader. Andy Boynton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.