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Mexico (National Geographic Countries of the World)by Beth Gruber
Synopses & Reviews
Here is what readers will find in Mexico:
Geography: Readers will learn about the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo del Norte), Baja California, the parallel ranges of the eastern and western Sierra Madre, the fact that Mexico City is built on an ancient lake bed, earthquakes and volcanoes, and the Yucatán with its limestone caverns and sinkholes. Maps: full page physical map, the railroad through Copper Canyon; anatomy of an earthquake; Eyewitness: Paricutín (volcano in a cornfield); meteorite that caused global extinction.
Nature: Focus here will be on Mexico's amazing biodiversity, how creatures adapt to survive in the many desert regions, and how human use of the land is robbing animals of their habitats, causing them to be at risk. Maps: full-page map showing ecosystems as well as national parks and other protected areas; 5,000-mile gray whale migration; 2,500-mile monarch butterfly migration. Sidebars: species at risk; uses for cactuses.
History: Readers will learn that Mexico was the center of some of the earliest (Olmec) and most advanced (Maya and Aztec) civilizations in the Western Hemisphere and how under Spanish rule Mexico's northern boundary extended as far north as southern Wyoming, as far west as California, and as far east as Louisiana. They will see the cultural and political effects of Spain's introduction of Catholicism, which led to a blending of cultures while the hacienda system of agriculture laid the foundation for revolution. Maps: full-page map showing extent of the Olmec, Aztec, and Maya empires as well as selected archaeological sites and Hernán Cortés's invasion route; map showing changing boundaries from 1821 to the present. Sidebars: Time line of
Mesoamerican civilizations; On Assignment with National Geographic: Discovering the Olmec Head; artists' reconstruction of the Maya city-state Palenque; biographies of revolutionaries Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.
People & Culture: The importance of tradition and family in Mexican life is shown by highlighting three familes from different socio-economic backgrounds and by contrasting traditional and modern lifestyles. Readers will learn about the country's rich artistic heritage-its muralists, craftsmen, musicians, and writers. Map: full-page population density map with graphs showing the trend over the past century for people to move from the countryside to cities. Sidebars: common Spanish phrases; biographies of muralist Diego Rivera and his wife, painter Frida Kahlo; focus on writers Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz; the music of mariachi bands; list of national holidays.
Government & Economy: Readers will learn about the disappointments of the Revolution, the problems of being ruled by a single political party for 70 some years, the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the push for new reforms, the emerging economy under NAFTA, the rise of maquiladoras and the migration of people--legal and illegal--to the United States, and the effect of the boom in tourism on the environment.
Maps: full-page politial map showing all the states of Mexico and their capitals; industry and mining; major agricultural products. Sidebars: Trading partners (exports and imports); chart showing how the government works; focus on the Zapatista rebellion; and the issue of illegal immigration.
Join National Geographic's quest to find the heart and soul of Mexico.
Journey through a land of incredible biodiversity: from the Rio Grande to the Sierra Madre. Visit Mexico City, the vast metropolis built on an ancient lakebed. Study the country's history of earthquakes and volcanoes and its current struggles to protect animal habitats.
Explore Mexico's history as the center of the Olmec, Maya and Aztec civilizations in Beth Gruber's lively text. Learn how Mexico's borders once extended north to southern Wyoming, west to California, and east to Louisiana. Witness the cultural and political aftereffects of Spanish Catholicism and discover how the hacienda system of agriculture led to revolution.
The author also explains the importance of family and traditions in Mexican culture and the country's rich artistic heritage.
Finally, readers will come to understand the disappointments of the Revolution, the limits of the single-party system, social inequalities, the economy, emigration to the United States, and the effects of the tourist boom on the environment.
About the Author
Beth Gruber is a graduate of the New York University School of Journalism. She has worked in children's publishing for almost 20 years as an author, editor, and reviewer of books for young readers. Ms. Gruber is also the author of National Geographic Investigates: Ancient Inca.
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