Course of Mexican History

Course of Mexican History

3.71 (101 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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This text provides a survey of Mexican history from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Covering Mexico's history from a broad range of perspectives - political, economic, social, and cultural - this revised fifth edition brings the story up-to-date with reappraisals based on new information and recent issues such as more

Product details

  • Hardback | 744 pages
  • 190 x 250mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.M.
  • 0195024133
  • 9780195024135

Review Text

Meyer and Sherman, history professors at the universities of Arizona and Nebraska, set out to encompass the whole history of Mexico in a single volume, and they've done well: this is a clear, responsible synthesis and the most complete picture now available. The narrative begins in the nebulous millennia before the Christian era, continues through the highs and lows of Indian empires, Spanish conquest, colonial times, Wars for Independence, Porfiriato, and Mexican revolution, and concludes with chapters on president Jose Echeverria, his successor Jose Lopez Portillo, and on the current internationalization and Americanization of Mexican culture. The rhythm varies from quiet overviews to day-by-day and sometimes almost hour-by-hour accounts, and the text is speckled with lively passages and amusing details - including the information that from among Montezuma's 1000 wives, 150 were once pregnant at the same time (and the indication that in 1857, invading French soldiers suffered from Montezuma's revenge). The complexities of pre-Columbian Mexico are clarified by references to simultaneous events and conditions in the Old World; the Spanish conquest, not surprisingly, is a dramatic peak, while the succeeding colonial centuries are more briefly, but still adequately, summarized. The story becomes exciting again in 1810 with the Grito de Dolores and from that point on, the pace seldom slows. There are occasional pauses, however, to examine social customs, population trends, the class system, and the intellectual life of each period. The book is thus a well-balanced study, but it will certainly be criticized - by pundits for a shortage of footnotes, by sharp intellects for the too often repeated statement that "Mexico was still a rural country," and by others for insufficient analysis of 20th-century anticlericalism. Some readers will also miss a final evaluation of themes and trends mentioned throughout the book (the heritage of violence, modern Mexican nationalism, among others) - but Meyer and Sherman can retort that they simply did what they promised to do, namely, "throw open the subject of Mexican history, not close it." (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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101 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 17% (17)
4 46% (46)
3 30% (30)
2 8% (8)
1 0% (0)
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