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Mexico : From Montezuma to Nafta, Chiapas, and Beyond

3.68 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this fascinating thousand year survey of America's controversial and rapidly changing neighbor, a leading expert on Latin America explains how Mexico's present and future flow directly from its past. Going well beyond analyses of recent crises, Mexico is an engrossing, pellucid introduction to the Indian civilization, the harsh rule of the Spaniards, social violence and revolution, and the country's mercurial relationship with the United States up to the present. Jaime Suchlicki indicates that Mexico's turbulent history contains recurring and often contradictory trends. He convincingly describes how that history contributes to Mexico's current and arguably future difficulties. With an engaging style that brings a colorful story to life, the author provides sophisticated insights into the exciting historical development of America's increasingly important trading partner. Mexico contains numerous rare photographs and offers an up-to-date perspective on Mexico of today and tomorrow, including an assessment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its implications for the future of United States-Mexican relations. Upon its initial release, Mexico was hailed by Mario Ojeda Gomez, president of El Colegio de Mexico "as provocative and current. The writing is sharp and the ideas are clear and original. Suchlicki has focused on important aspects of Mexico's history and has explained them with intelligence, selecting what is really significant." And Manuel Suarez Mier of the Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) writes that Suchlicki's book is "objective and appreciative, and will enable readers to better understand Mexico and its behavior. This is a fascinating and timely book.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 227 pages
  • 155.2 x 231.1 x 19.8mm | 385.74g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0765806525
  • 9780765806529

Review quote

-One of the virtues of the book is Grayson's examination of the rise and evolution of the modern Mexican state. Too often the U.S. discussion of Mexico comes without any political context. What makes his examination of the state and politics in Mexico so fascinating is the recent return of the PRI as the country's major political force - an ominous trend, according to Grayson, given the PRI's history of patronage politics, its opportunistic 'revolutionary nationalism, ' and its unreformed ways.-

--Tom Barry, Border Lines -Grayson has written one of the most comprehensive books on the nacro-violence in Mexico...Excellent and meticulous research informs then chapters that focus on the political and institutional history of Mexico vis-A-vis the emergency of the drug cartels and new actors such as Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana...This is one of the best books on the subject to date. Highly recommended for policy makers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the gruesome violence that plagues Mexico today.-

--I. Coronado, University of Texas at El Paso -Every Mexican and American citizen should be required to read this book.-

--David L. Westrate, The Virginia Gazette

-Few American academics writing about Mexico today know more about security, electoral politics, drug-trafficking and criminal violence issues than George Grayson. Mexico, Narco-Violence and a Failed State? addresses the significant consequences of each in a lively and provocative manner, providing revealing, current, and controversial insights into their impact on its political stability, social fabric, and relations with the United States. Anyone hoping to grasp the difficult, multiple, and complex aspects of drug trafficking in our southern neighbor should read this book.-

--Roderic Ai Camp, McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim, Claremont McKenna College

-William and Mary Professor George Grayson ranks among the most knowledgeable and insightful analysts of Mexican society and politics writing today. His new book on Mexico's bloody and brutal drug cartels constitutes a major contribution to the growing body of research on the -drug thugs- who are making bilions by trafficking drugs in Mexico and through their country into the United States while wreaking havoc on both sides of the border. His detailed case studies of Mexico's major drug -cartels- or organized crime families active in the lucrative illicit narcotics trade - the leadership and internal dynamics of the major criminal organizations, the rivalries and shifting alliances among these ruthless groups, and the shockingly violent tactics they employ against each other, the Mexican government and the Mexican people - make for a fascinating but sobering read. Concisely written and painstakingly documented, Grayson's book is a must for anyone interested in understanding what is happening in the United States' besieged southern neighbor and the implications that Mexico's current crisis holds for American society, American security and U.S-Mexican bilateral relations.-

--Bruce M. Bagley, University of Miami

-One of the greatest fallacies committed today amongst those who discuss and write about organized crime in Mexico is a limited understanding of Mexico's political history, especially how and why the country's leaders have engaged with criminal actors for decades. George Grayson's review of this history is a crisp, concise explanation that expertly frames Mexico today: a country struggling to confront unprecedented narco-violence. Grayson layers this historical backdrop with a full account of Mexican organized crime; it is one of the most thorough discussions of Mexican organized crime that I have ever seen, in English or Spanish. This book is a must read for anyone interested to know why thousands die in Mexico every year and what we can expect to see in Mexico for the rest of President Calderon's term and beyond.-

--Samuel Logan, Journalist Writer

-Characterized by exhaustive research, rare in-depth knowledge of the subject outside Mexico, and compassionate wit, George Grayson's new book confirms him as one of the most distinguished scholars of Mexican politics and history. No other publication to date has unpacked and analyzed so thoroughly the labyrinthine and brutal underworld of Mexico's feared drug cartels and their complex relationship with the country's authorities and society.-

--Dr. Francisco E. Gonzalez, Riordan Roett Chair in Latin American Studies, The Johns Hopkins University "One of the virtues of the book is Grayson's examination of the rise and evolution of the modern Mexican state. Too often the U.S. discussion of Mexico comes without any political context. What makes his examination of the state and politics in Mexico so fascinating is the recent return of the PRI as the country's major political force - an ominous trend, according to Grayson, given the PRI's history of patronage politics, its opportunistic 'revolutionary nationalism, ' and its unreformed ways."

--Tom Barry, Border Lines "Grayson has written one of the most comprehensive books on the nacro-violence in Mexico...Excellent and meticulous research informs then chapters that focus on the political and institutional history of Mexico vis-A-vis the emergency of the drug cartels and new actors such as Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana...This is one of the best books on the subject to date. Highly recommended for policy makers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the gruesome violence that plagues Mexico today."

--I. Coronado, University of Texas at El Paso "Every Mexican and American citizen should be required to read this book."

--David L. Westrate, The Virginia Gazette

"Few American academics writing about Mexico today know more about security, electoral politics, drug-trafficking and criminal violence issues than George Grayson. Mexico, Narco-Violence and a Failed State? addresses the significant consequences of each in a lively and provocative manner, providing revealing, current, and controversial insights into their impact on its political stability, social fabric, and relations with the United States. Anyone hoping to grasp the difficult, multiple, and complex aspects of drug trafficking in our southern neighbor should read this book."

--Roderic Ai Camp, McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim, Claremont McKenna College

"William and Mary Professor George Grayson ranks among the most knowledgeable and insightful analysts of Mexican society and politics writing today. His new book on Mexico's bloody and brutal drug cartels constitutes a major contribution to the growing body of research on the "drug thugs" who are making bilions by trafficking drugs in Mexico and through their country into the United States while wreaking havoc on both sides of the border. His detailed case studies of Mexico's major drug "cartels" or organized crime families active in the lucrative illicit narcotics trade - the leadership and internal dynamics of the major criminal organizations, the rivalries and shifting alliances among these ruthless groups, and the shockingly violent tactics they employ against each other, the Mexican government and the Mexican people - make for a fascinating but sobering read. Concisely written and painstakingly documented, Grayson's book is a must for anyone interested in understanding what is happening in the United States' besieged southern neighbor and the implications that Mexico's current crisis holds for American society, American security and U.S-Mexican bilateral relations."

--Bruce M. Bagley, University of Miami

"One of the greatest fallacies committed today amongst those who discuss and write about organized crime in Mexico is a limited understanding of Mexico's political history, especially how and why the country's leaders have engaged with criminal actors for decades. George Grayson's review of this history is a crisp, concise explanation that expertly frames Mexico today: a country struggling to confront unprecedented narco-violence. Grayson layers this historical backdrop with a full account of Mexican organized crime; it is one of the most thorough discussions of Mexican organized crime that I have ever seen, in English or Spanish. This book is a must read for anyone interested to know why thousands die in Mexico every year and what we can expect to see in Mexico for the rest of President Calderon's term and beyond."

--Samuel Logan, Journalist Writer

"Characterized by exhaustive research, rare in-depth knowledge of the subject outside Mexico, and compassionate wit, George Grayson's new book confirms him as one of the most distinguished scholars of Mexican politics and history. No other publication to date has unpacked and analyzed so thoroughly the labyrinthine and brutal underworld of Mexico's feared drug cartels and their complex relationship with the country's authorities and society."

--Dr. Francisco E. Gonzalez, Riordan Roett Chair in Latin American Studies, The Johns Hopkins University "Grayson has written one of the most comprehensive books on the nacro-violence in Mexico...Excellent and meticulous research informs then chapters that focus on the political and institutional history of Mexico vis-A-vis the emergency of the drug cartels and new actors such as Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana...This is one of the best books on the subject to date. Highly recommended for policy makers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the gruesome violence that plagues Mexico today."

--I. Coronado, University of Texas at El Paso "Every Mexican and American citizen should be required to read this book."

--David L. Westrate, The Virginia Gazette

"Few American academics writing about Mexico today know more about security, electoral politics, drug-trafficking and criminal violence issues than George Grayson. "Mexico, Narco-Violence and a Failed State?" addresses the significant consequences of each in a lively and provocative manner, providing revealing, current, and controversial insights into their impact on its political stability, social fabric, and relations with the United States. Anyone hoping to grasp the difficult, multiple, and complex aspects of drug trafficking in our southern neighbor should read this book."

--Roderic Ai Camp, McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim, Claremont McKenna College

"William and Mary Professor George Grayson ranks among the most knowledgeable and insightful analysts of Mexican society and politics writing today. His new book on Mexico's bloody and brutal drug cartels constitutes a major contribution to the growing body of research on the "drug thugs" who are making bilions by trafficking drugs in Mexico and through their country into the United States while wreaking havoc on both sides of the border. His detailed case studies of Mexico's major drug "cartels" or organized crime families active in the lucrative illicit narcotics trade - the leadership and internal dynamics of the major criminal organizations, the rivalries and shifting alliances among these ruthless groups, and the shockingly violent tactics they employ against each other, the Mexican government and the Mexican people - make for a fascinating but sobering read. Concisely written and painstakingly documented, Grayson's book is a must for anyone interested in understanding what is happening in the United States' besieged southern neighbor and the implications that Mexico's current crisis holds for American society, American security and U.S-Mexican bilateral relations."

--Bruce M. Bagley, University of Miami

"One of the greatest fallacies committed today amongst those who discuss and write about organized crime in Mexico is a limited understanding of Mexico's political history, especially how and why the country's leaders have engaged with criminal actors for decades. George Grayson's review of this history is a crisp, concise explanation that expertly frames Mexico today: a country struggling to confront unprecedented narco-violence. Grayson layers this historical backdrop with a full account of Mexican organized crime; it is one of the most thorough discussions of Mexican organized crime that I have ever seen, in English or Spanish. This book is a must read for anyone interested to know why thousands die in Mexico every year and what we can expect to see in Mexico for the rest of President Calderon's term and beyond."

--Samuel Logan, Journalist Writer

"Characterized by exhaustive research, rare in-depth knowledge of the subject outside Mexico, and compassionate wit, George Grayson's new book confirms him as one of the most distinguished scholars of Mexican politics and history. No other publication to date has unpacked and analyzed so thoroughly the labyrinthine and brutal underworld of Mexico's feared drug cartels and their complex relationship with the country's authorities and society."

--Dr. Francisco E. Gonzalez, Riordan Roett Chair in Latin American Studies, The Johns Hopkins University "One of the virtues of the book is Grayson's examination of the rise and evolution of the modern Mexican state. Too often the U.S. discussion of Mexico comes without any political context. What makes his examination of the state and politics in Mexico so fascinating is the recent return of the PRI as the country's major political force - an ominous trend, according to Grayson, given the PRI's history of patronage politics, its opportunistic 'revolutionary nationalism, ' and its unreformed ways."

--Tom Barry, Border Lines "One of the virtues of the book is Grayson's examination of the rise and evolution of the modern Mexican state. Too often the U.S. discussion of Mexico comes without any political context. What makes his examination of the state and politics in Mexico so fascinating is the recent return of the PRI as the country's major political force - an ominous trend, according to Grayson, given the PRI's history of patronage politics, its opportunistic 'revolutionary nationalism, ' and its unreformed ways."

--Tom Barry, Border Lines "Every Mexican and American citizen should be required to read this book."

--David L. Westrate, The Virginia Gazette

"Few American academics writing about Mexico today know more about security, electoral politics, drug-trafficking and criminal violence issues than George Grayson. "Mexico, Narco-Violence and a Failed State?" addresses the significant consequences of each in a lively and provocative manner, providing revealing, current, and controversial insights into their impact on its political stability, social fabric, and relations with the United States. Anyone hoping to grasp the difficult, multiple, and complex aspects of drug trafficking in our southern neighbor should read this book."

--Roderic Ai Camp, McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim, Claremont McKenna College

"William and Mary Professor George Grayson ranks among the most knowledgeable and insightful analysts of Mexican society and politics writing today. His new book on Mexico's bloody and brutal drug cartels constitutes a major contribution to the growing body of research on the "drug thugs" who are making bilions by trafficking drugs in Mexico and through their country into the United States while wreaking havoc on both sides of the border. His detailed case studies of Mexico's major drug "cartels" or organized crime families active in the lucrative illicit narcotics trade - the leadership and internal dynamics of the major criminal organizations, the rivalries and shifting alliances among these ruthless groups, and the shockingly violent tactics they employ against each other, the Mexican government and the Mexican people - make for a fascinating but sobering read. Concisely written and painstakingly documented, Grayson's book is a must for anyone interested in understanding what is happening in the United States' besieged southern neighbor and the implications that Mexico's current crisis holds for American society, American security and U.S-Mexican bilateral relations."

--Bruce M. "Grayson has written one of the most comprehensive books on the nacro-violence in Mexico...Excellent and meticulous research informs then chapters that focus on the political and institutional history of Mexico vis-a-vis the emergency of the drug cartels and new actors such as Los Zetas and La Familia Michoacana...This is one of the best books on the subject to date. Highly recommended for policy makers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the gruesome violence that plagues Mexico today."

--I. Coronado, University of Texas at El Paso
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 42% (8)
3 26% (5)
2 5% (1)
1 5% (1)
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