Synopses & Reviews
From the renowned scholar of Mexican culture and history and former foreign minister, a book that sheds much- needed light on the puzzling paradoxes of his native country, the fate of which is inextricably intertwined with our own.
Although its people traditionally avoid conflict, Mexico is plagued by violence. It has an ambivalent and conflicted relationship with the United States and yet is home to more American expatriates than any other country in the world. Its people tend to reject foreigners, yet they have made their nation one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. And while Mexicans have historically preferred isolated living, as the country’s population swells past 100 million, a bourgeoning middle class is clamoring for affordable housing near major cities. It is these kinds of contradictory characteristics of the place and its people that Castañeda considers in this shrewd and perceptive study, examining both the ways in which they helped forge the nation, and the ways in which they may dramatically hinder its progress.
About the Author
Jorge G. Castañeda was born and raised in Mexico City. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Paris. He has been a professor of political science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and a visiting professor at Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley. He was Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, and is now Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies at New York University. He is a member of the board of Human Rights Watch and lives in New York and Mexico City.