A Concise History of Mexico

A Concise History of Mexico

A Concise History of Mexico

A Concise History of Mexico

Synopsis

Modern Mexico, founded after Independence from Spain in 1821, was created out of a long and disparate historical inheritance that has constantly influenced its evolution. Tackling the complex and colorful history of Mexico is a formidable task. Brian Hamnett undertakes this challenge in his Concise History, beginning with a brief examination of contemporary issues, while the book as a whole--ranging from the Olmecs to the present day--combines a chronological and thematic approach while highlighting long-term issues and controversies. Author Hamnett takes account of that past and pays attention to the pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial influence. Mexico's economic problems are given special treatment together with political analysis and attention to social and cultural factors. His prime objective is to make the book accessible to general readers, including those interested in gaining a broad knowledge of the country and those across the professions anxious to secure a rapid but secure understanding of a subject where there are few starting points.

Excerpt

Research on Mexico is an exciting and fast-developing topic. Perspectives are repeatedly changing. Mexico, with a population around 95 million, forms part of the North American sub-continent. Since the early sixteenth century, it has been part of the Atlantic world that resulted from European expansion. Before that time, Mexico was also part of a pre-Columbian world unknown to Europeans. For that reason, the country has a complex multi-ethnic and multi-cultural pattern that continues to have an impact on contemporary events. Nevertheless, anyone interested in Mexico quickly discovers that there are few things for the beginner to read. At the same time, those who perhaps might have returned from their first visit to the country will frequently look in vain for a book which enables them to analyse what they have seen with any thematic coherence. I myself have long been conscious of such a gap in the literature. For that reason, I decided to write this book. The bibliography should help the reader to branch out in whichever may be the preferred thematic direction. Since The Concise History must rise above the detailed monographic type of work and identify the broad outlines of Mexican history, I hope it will also find some resonance among fellow disciplinarians.

I first went to Mexico as a research student in January 1966. A great deal of my own history has been lived there since that time, and the country itself has in some respects changed beyond recognition. The scale of change reflects a dynamic North American society such as Mexico. Yet, at the same time, particularly in the provinces and . . .

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