Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead

Article excerpt

Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead by Shannon K. O'Neil. 2014. 264 pp. ISBN: 9780199390007. $21.95 paper. Oxford University Press. New York, N.Y., http://global.oup.com, (800) 445-9714

A friend of mine was recently surfing the Internet looking for cruises she could book for herself and her family. She was exasperated because the ones that were the best value for the money were unacceptable for one main reason- they included stops in Mexico as part of their itineraries. She didn't feel safe going there after reading horror stories about kidnappings and the influence of the drug cartel there. Are her fears exaggerated? Of course, but look at things from her point of view.

Headlinestell stories of decapitated human heads are thrown onto a crowded dance floor in western Mexico, and Mexican drug cartel dismembering the body of a rival and then stitching his face onto a soccer ball. These are the sorts of news reports that dominate the media. They also find their way into movie plots and TV shows. There is no question that they are shaping Americans' perception of Mexico as a dangerous and scary place, overrun by brutal drug lords. It's not all hype, of course. In the last six years, over 60,000 people have been murdered in narco-related crimes.

What hasn't made headlines, however, is the political, economic and social transformation that Mexico has undergone in recent years. Mexico has become a functioning democracy, allowing its citizens to have greater voice and opportunities to begin building and shoring up a newly emerging middle class. …

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