La presencia del pasado , Tusquets. Para salir de Babel , Tusquets. Retratos personales , Tusquets. El poder y el delirio , Tusquets. Octavio Paz. Personas e ideas.
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Mexico, particularly in Latin America, is a mythical country. It has always had a vibrant popular culture. In Colombia, it used to be said that the upper class aspired to be English, the middle class wanted to be American, and the lower class wished to be Mexican. This is not intended to offend Mexico, but just a statement of its powerful pull over others. Amazingly, such an important country has never had such a strong historiography as much smaller ones, like Cuba.
This has many reasons, one of them being that the Revolutionary Institutional Party PRI , probably the most effective political party in history, was able to co-opt most intellectuals either with favors or intimidation. This promoted a mythological self-view of Mexico that paved the ground for the economic catastrophe of Lopez Portillo and the political catastrophe of Salinas de Gortari.
For anyone interested in looking behind the cobwebs of official history and popular culture, Krauze is a godsend. In his work one can view the greater trends of Mexican history, and understand how a country may be both statist and hospitable to private business, officially anti-clerical but deeply religious, often in unorthodox ways, extremely violent but highly cultured, with an often radical foreign policy that belied a very conservative political culture.
As a Colombian I was very surprised at the conservative failure to win power from the s to President Fox in Colombia the conservatives have run the country for well over half of its existence. So, Mexico is a complex country, perhaps more than most. That is highly unlikely. But these fears indicate that all North Americans should be interested in Mexico. And Krauze is a great place to start. Americans, in particular, do worse than to know more about their great southern neighbor.
The history is a case study about how political culture shapes and constrains a country. Mexico is split into multiple factions: different Indian tribes, creoles of European descent, born in Mexico , Mestizos mixed European-Indian ancestry , clerics, anti-clerics, liberals anti-church, anti-Spanish, in both moderate and radical forms; and communists in the ss. The overall split is between the conservatives church-Spain-wealth and liberals anti-all of these.
In the Hobbesian fashion, autocratic leaders filled the governing void.
México: Biografía del poder
Biografía del poder