Mexico: Why a Few Are Rich and the People Poor

Mexico: Why a Few Are Rich and the People Poor

Mexico: Why a Few Are Rich and the People Poor

Mexico: Why a Few Are Rich and the People Poor

Synopsis

Explicitly focusing on the malaise of underdevelopment that has shaped the country since the Spanish conquest, Ramón Eduardo Ruiz offers a panoramic interpretation of Mexican history and culture from the pre-Hispanic and colonial eras through the twentieth century. Drawing on economics, psychology, literature, film, and history, he reveals how development processes have fostered glaring inequalities, uncovers the fundamental role of race and class in perpetuating poverty, and sheds new light on the contemporary Mexican reality. Throughout, Ruiz traces a legacy of dependency on outsiders, and considers the weighty role the United States has played, starting with an unjust war that cost Mexico half its territory. Based on Ruiz's decades of research and travel in Mexico, this penetrating work helps us better understand where the country has come, why it is where it is today, and where it might go in the future.

Excerpt

This offbeat disquisition on Mexico’s warped march from century to century opens with the sterling views of my father, a doting Mexican patriot who, when I was young, never tired of telling me stories from his country’s past. As his own father had done, he had served in his country’s military, but had abandoned that life shortly before the collapse of the Old Regime. Always in the grip of misplaced dreams and outright delusions, he would say Mexico someday would be “un gran país” (a great country). Well, my father died in Mazatlán, a port city on the Pacific Ocean, not far from where he first saw the light of day. He departed this earth in 1976 with unsettling echoes of the past in his troubled mind, never seeing his prediction come true, but never doubting that it would, as he swore when I last saw him. Nor do I doubt it, though I have devoted a lifetime to writing about Mexico, alert to any sign of an untrodden path, but until today my hopes have been dashed.

Still, it is possible, if one is so disposed, to argue that all is well in Mexico, particularly if one is pleased with what we are told by tourists enamored of the pyramids of Teotihuacán and the dance of the old men in . . .

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