Item description for El despertar de Mexico: Episodios de una busqueda de la democracia (Con Una Cierta Mirada) (Spanish Edition) by Julia Preston & Samuel Dillon...
Overview La capacidad de sorprenderse que caracteriza a los mejores periodistas domina estas paginas que se remontan hasta los intensos meses de 1968 para relatar en ricos efectos narrativos nuevos detalles del enorme cambio que experimento la realidad politica mexicana de las ultimas decadas. Como representantes de uno de los medios clave del periodismo internacional, los autores (Preston y Dillon) tuvieron acceso a lo que ocurria tras bambalinas en muchos escenarios: en la tumultuosa eleccion presidencial de 1988; en las decisiones que llevaron a la catastrofica crisis del peso en 1994; en Los Pinos durante los sexenios de Carlos Salinas y Ernesto Zedillo; en las guerras y los escandalos del narcotrafico; en los partidos politicos y la campaa que llevo a Vicente Fox a la presidencia en el 2000. Esta cronica se enriquece con los retratos de actores y protagonistas de los hechos -desde los poderosos hasta los indigenas rebeldes en la selva Lacandona- y recupera los claroscuros de sus acciones. The world's best journalists still enjoy the capacity to be surprised, and this feeling dominates the pages in this book. They narrate the details of the intense changes experienced in Mexican politics since 1968. The authors, Preston and Dillon, as key representatives of international journalism, had access to what happened behind closed doors in the political scene; from the tumultuous presidential election in 1988, to the decisions behind the peso crisis in 1994, to Los Pinos during Carlos Salinas' and Ernesto Zedillo's governments, to the drug wars and scandals, to Mexican political parties and Fox's presidential campaign in 2000. With rich narrative effects the authors paint detailed portraits of actors and protagonists within this timeline-from those in power to the indigenous rebels in the jungle-and thus gain insight into their actions.
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Studio: Grupo Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 7" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Oct 2, 2007
Publisher Grupo Nelson
ISBN 970651922X ISBN13 9789706519221
Availability 0 units.
More About Julia Preston & Samuel Dillon
Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon were "The New York Times" Mexico bureau chiefs from 1995 to 2000. Along with two other reporters, they won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for their coverage of Mexico's narcotics underworld.
Reviews - What do customers think about El despertar de Mexico: Episodios de una busqueda de la democracia (Con Una Cierta Mirada) (Spanish Edition)?
Informative and Fact Filled, but not the most concise Sep 5, 2007
Over 500 pages of well described political history, excluding the 40+ pages of painstaking endnotes, make this an impressive body of work.
The most informative and colorful anecdotal pages were from Carlos Salinas administration in 1980's to Vincente Fox up to 2002. Pre-1980's Mexican history tends to be a textbook version of how Mexico evolved differently from the U.S. Facts, dates, and quotes are precise. With a clear intent to write to the U.S. reader, the case is made that the democratic struggles in Mexico are unlike the U.S. For example, until Vincente Fox the government was ruled by a single political party (PRI) which was tightly integrated into the unions, voting mechanisms, fiscal appropriations, and candidate selection processes.
As New York Times writers, Preston and Dillon clearly have had the experience and understanding to address the Mexican history. However, if you are seeking a book that is a biography of Zedillo, Salinas, Fox, Slim, et al. This is not the right book.
In general, the fact-filled style and approach of their story-telling misses many personal and human textures; instead it focuses on their political persona or the writers attempt to reveal the persona under the politician within the context of the politics. You may learn that virtually all of the leaders went to Ivy League PhD programs, but you are not involved in the influences of their very different academic lives.
In summary: well written history, could have been a bit more concise for an easier read, but lacks deeper revelation of the human sides of the major characters of the Mexican political struggle.
Concise commentary on complex Mexican political evolution Jul 11, 2007
Very well-written account of the decades-long dominance and eventual fall of the mighty PRI in Mexico. Some reviewers have complained that the book is too long, but I disagree. The narrative moves at a sprightly pace; it reads like a very long feature article in, say, the New York Times (the authors' employer), which, for me, is an appropriate way to tackle the topic. I've read other books on modern Mexican politics and history by more academic authors, and found their work turgid and hard to follow.
The book does a great job of revealing both the ruthlessness and eventual haplessness of numerous Mexican political figures, as their traditional authoritarian ways are largely washed away by growing numbers of average Mexicans clamouring for democracy.
Mexico was not out of the woods upon Vicente Fox being elected president, and the authors stress this. There are still huge problems with wealth disparity, corruption and drug trafficking. However, the country now has a better chance to address these issues with an electoral system that is more transparent than it has ever been, and with a populace that has a taste for greater political freedom now that it has seen that it was possible to vote out the venerable PRI.
Excellent Mar 3, 2007
Hello: I have read this book many times and I have always found it delighful. This book references back to the political party regime called "PRI" and the attrosities they made. From corrupt presidents to corrupt generals; the bad deals, the fixed elections, the killings and dissapirings of innocent people. It takes you back to the mid 1960's and it talks about important events throughout those years until the year 2000 when the regime party lost their first election. This book talks about Mexican politics and how it has set back Mexico to the extent of becoming a third world nation. Mexico has the potential of becoming a powerfull nation as the US is but it's corrupt ways has set them back a couple of years. To the extent I know this book is full of true stories that happened throughout the last 50 years; that are the years that hurt the most Mexico. Sam and Julia are excellent authors, and in this book they show us how a clean and healthy politics story should be presented. I have only to say that if you like politics and history this is your book. Great job authors.
Stupendous book Jan 10, 2007
Though you get a good and brief Mexican history lesson at the get-go, the majority of this well-written and deeply researched book by two Pulitzer Prize winners from the New York Times is devoted to the past half-century or so.
It's a thriller, a real-life cliff-hanger that includes bald-headed generalissimos in bed with drug-dealers, backroom dealings, sex, brutality, murder, kidnappings, ear-slicings, corruption up the kazoo, "revolutionary" baloney, all of which was brought to us by the PRI, the ham-fisted political party that ruled Mexico craftily for seven decades until the whole game came unglued in the late 1990s, landing opposition leader Vicente Fox in the president's chair in 2000.
The PRI overdid it, and got their comeuppance, at last.
This book is available in both English and Spanish. I find it odd that the chapter entitled "From Disorder to Despotism" is missing from the Spanish version, published in, you guessed it, Mexico. Plus, the Spanish version has no photos! I like to see what my goons look like.
This book is a must-read for anybody interested in this messy land. I live in Mexico, and could hardly put the dang thing down.
Good 380-page book...too bad it's trapped inside a 516-page book Jun 21, 2006
Julie Preston and Samuel Dillon's "Opening Mexico" is a fine work crying out for an editor and undermined by a general lack in editorial discipline. There are whole chapters here which should and ought to have been left out - two in particular are the latter chapters "Opening Minds" and "Chiapas." Interesting standalone pieces perhaps, but their inclusion here simply destroys the drive and narrative of the overall work.
Moreover, there are these little personal narratives jarringly crammed in there and prefaced with "Sam writes..." or "Julia writes...". Sorry guys: I'm reading this stirring story of Vicente Fox's march to victory and suddenly I'm reading some personal aside about a school field trip you took with your daughter? You completely and utterly lost me there and - judging by other comments on these pages - more than a few others, too. There's probably 20 pages of those passages and net cumulutive effect is zero.
Which is a shame because the core story here of the slow overturning of the PRI's "perfect democracy" is great stuff. In fact, the first chapter ("The Day of Change") which gives the backroom story of Vicente Fox's victory is absolutely electricfying material...I'm talking to the point of the hair tingling on the back of your neck.
There's also great reporting on Carlos Salinas' administration and Ernesto Zedillo's as well. Most notably the reporting is very balanced. For example, it would be very easy to pile on Raul Salinas. But while reporting the President's brother's obvious failings, the authors point out that the his human rights were violated in his imprisonment and trial. That's not a popular opinion but Preston and Dillon make a good case for that opinion.
So, to see the book get sluggish because of bad (well, nonexistent really) editing is a real disappointment. Still, for $15 or less, I would tell you it's even worth your money to buy it simply for that first chapter.