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Monday, June 27, 2011

New Books in June 2011: Topic Mexico

New Books in June 2011: Topic Mexico

To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War 
Paperback City Lights Publishers; NONE edition (June 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0872865177 ISBN-13: 978-0872865174
John Gibler

"Gibler is something of a revelation, having been living and writing from Mexico for a range of progressive publications only since 2006, but providing reflections, insights, and a level of understanding worthy of a veteran correspondent."—Latin American Review of Books
Combining on-the-ground reporting and in-depth discussions with people on the frontlines of Mexico's drug war, To Die in Mexico tells behind-the-scenes stories that address the causes and consequences of Mexico's multibillion dollar drug trafficking business. John Gibler looks beyond the myths that pervade government and media portrayals of the unprecedented wave of violence now pushing Mexico to the breaking point.

Marvels and Miracles in Late Colonial Mexico: Three Texts in Context
(Religions of the Americas Series) Hardcover University of New Mexico Press (June 20, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0826349757 ISBN-13: 978-0826349750
William B. Taylor

Miracles, signs of divine presence and intervention, have been esteemed by Christians, especially Catholic Christians, as central to religious belief. During the second half of the eighteenth century Spain's Bourbon dynasty sought to tighten its control over New World colonies, reform imperial institutions, and change the role of the church and religion in colonial life. 

As a result, miracles were recognized and publicized sparingly by the church hierarchy and colonial courts were increasingly reluctant to recognize the events. Despite this lack of official encouragement, stories of amazing healings, rescues, and acts of divine retribution abounded throughout Mexico.

Consisting of three rare documents about miracles from this period, each accompanied by an introductory essay, this study serves as a source book and complement to the author's Shrines and Miraculous Images: Religious Life in Mexico Before the Reforma.

Shrines and Miraculous Images: Religious Life in Mexico Before the Reforma
(Religions of the America's) Hardcover University of New Mexico Press (June 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 082634853X ISBN-13: 978-0826348531
William B. Taylor

The vast literature on Our Lady of Guadalupe dominates the study of shrines and religious practices in Mexico. But there is much more to the story of shrines and images in Mexico's religious history than Guadalupe and Marian devotion. In this book, a distinguished historian brings together his new and recent essays on previously unstudied or reconsidered places, themes, patterns, and episodes in Mexican religious history during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

William Taylor explores the use of local and regional shrines, and devotion to images of Christ and Mary, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, to get to the heart of the politics and practices of faith in Mexico before the Reforma.Each of these essays touches on methodological and conceptual matters that open out to processes and paradoxes of change and continuity, exposing the symbolic complexity behind the material representations.

The Railway Revolution in Mexico
Paperback CreateSpace (June 12, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1463590261 ISBN-13: 978-1463590260
Bernard Moses

Jean-Frederic Waldeck: Artist of Exotic Mexico
Hardcover University of New Mexico Press (June 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0826347037 ISBN-13: 978-0826347039
Esther Pasztory

One of the first artists to visit the Mayan ruins at Palenque after Mexican independence, Jean-Frederic Waldeck has long been dismissed as unreliable, his drawings of pre-Columbian art marred by his excessive interest in European styles of beauty.

With this fresh look at Waldeck's entire output, including his desire to exhibit at Paris salons, his reconstructions of Mayan and Aztec subjects can be understood as art rather than illustration. Pasztory sees him as a unique Neoclassicist who has never been fully appreciated.

In addition to illustrating Maya antiquities in the days before photography, Waldeck painted imaginary reconstructions of pre-Columbian life and rituals and scenes of everyday life in nineteenth-century Mexico.

Most his contemporaries looking for exotic subject matter went east and are now referred to as Orientalists. Waldeck went west and found the exotic in the New World, but as Esther Pasztory suggests, he is an Orientalist in spirit.

Waldeck's work was not considered interesting or important in its day, but twenty-first century viewers can appreciate his sensibility, which combines the modern domestic with the ancient mythic and features a theatrical version of Neoclassicism that looks forward to a Hollywood that would not exist until decades after the artist's death in 1875 at the age of 109.

Decentralization, Democratization, and Informal Power in Mexico
Hardcover Penn State Press (June 20, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0271048433 ISBN-13: 978-0271048437
Andrew Selee

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, many countries in Latin America freed themselves from the burden of their authoritarian pasts and developed democratic political systems. 

At the same time, they began a process of shifting many governmental responsibilities from the national to the state and local levels. 

Much has been written about how decentralization has fostered democratization, but informal power relationships inherited from the past have complicated the ways in which citizens voice their concerns and have undermined the accountability of elected officials. 

In this book, Andrew Selee seeks to illuminate the complex linkages between informal and formal power by comparing how they worked in three Mexican cities. The process of decentralization is shown to have been intermediated by existing spheres of political influence, which in turn helped determine how much the institution of multi-party democracy in the country could succeed in bringing democracy 'closer to home.'

Primitive Revolution: Restorationist Religion and the Idea of the Mexican Revolution, 1940-1968  
Paperback University of New Mexico Press (June 20, 2011)
ISBN-10: 082634951X ISBN-13: 978-0826349514
Jason H. Dormady

In this intriguing study, Jason Dormady examines the ways members of Mexico's urban and rural poor used religious community to mediate between themselves and the state through the practice of religious primitivism, the belief that they were restoring Christianity – and the practice of Mexican citizenship – to a more pure and essential state. 

Focusing on three community formation projects – the Iglesia del Reino de Dios en su Plenitud, a Mormon-based polygamist organization; the Iglesia Luz del Mundo, an evangelical Protestant organization; and the Union Nacional Sinarquista, a semi-fascist Mexican Catholic group -- Dormady argues that their attempts to establish religious authenticity mirror the efforts of officials to define the meaning of the Mexican Revolution in the era following its military phase.

Despite the fact that these communities engaged in counterrevolutionary behavior, the state remained pragmatic and willing to be flexible depending on convergence of the group's interests with those of the official revolution.

Janelle Lynch: Los Jardines de Mexico
Hardcover Radius Books; Bilingual edition (June 30, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1934435317 ISBN-13: 978-1934435311
José Aldrete-Haas (Author), Mario Bellatín (Author), Janelle Lynch (Photographer)

Janelle Lynch (born 1969) explores themes of death, regeneration and preservation. Los Jardines de Mexico unites four series of photographs taken between 2002 and 2007, three from Mexico City and one from Chiapas. Simultaneously celebratory and sad, the photographs embrace loss as a necessary facilitator of growth.

No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy
Hardcover Univ of Nebraska Pr (June 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0803235100 ISBN-13: 978-0803235106
Wendy Call

Wendy Call visited the Isthmus of Tehuantepec -- the lush sliver of land connecting the Yucatan Peninsula to the rest of Mexico -- for the first time in 1997. 

She found herself in the midst of a storied land, a place Mexicans call their country's "little waist," a place long known for its strong women, spirited marketplaces, and deep sense of independence. 

She also landed in the middle of a ferocious battle over plans to industrialize the region, where most people still fish, farm, and work in the forests. In the decade that followed her first visit, Call witnessed farmland being paved for new highways, oil spilling into rivers, and forests burning down. Through it all, local people fought to protect their lands and their livelihoods -- and their very lives.

Call's story, No Word for Welcome, invites readers into the homes, classrooms, storefronts, and fishing boats of the isthmus, as well as the mahogany-paneled high-rise offices of those striving to control the region. 

With timely and invaluable insights into the development battle, Call shows that the people who have suffered most from economic globalization have some of the clearest ideas about how we can all survive it.

La ciudad del crimen: Ciudad Juárez y los nuevos campos de exterminio de la economía global  
(Vintage Espanol) (Spanish Edition) Paperback
Vintage; Tra edition (June 14, 2011) Language: Spanish
ISBN-10: 0307743470 ISBN-13: 978-0307743473
Charles Bowden (Author)

En La ciudad del crimen Charles Bowden presenta una crónica devastadora de una urbe en pleno colapso.

El libro comienza en enero de 2008, cuando una lista escrita a mano aparece en el monumento a los policías caídos en Juárez. En ella, bajo la leyenda “Para ellos que continúan sin creer”, se mencionan diecisiete nombres. Algunos días después sus cuerpos comienzan a aparecer.

Con una prosa alucinante y detalles desgarradores, Bowden retrata la vida de sus residentes: Miss Sinaloa, una reina de belleza violada que refleja todo lo que la ciudad le ha arrebatado; Emilio, un periodista que cometió el error de narrar la verdad y ahora tiene que huir para salvar su vida; el Pastor, un “cristiano renacido” que administra su sanatorio en mitad del desierto; y un escalofriante sicario, un asesino que ha soñado su propia muerte mientras murmura los secretos de su organización.

Mientras Bowden teje estas historias, lleva a cabo una profunda meditación sobre una ciudad sumida en el caos.

En Juárez la guerra es por las drogas; la policía y los militares luchan por las ganancias; la prensa se encuentra restringida por la intimidación; y la línea entre el estado y los cárteles, al parecer nunca ha existido. “En esta nueva forma de vida jugamos todos y nadie está realmente al mando,” escribe Bowden. “La violencia ha cruzado las líneas de clase. La violencia está en todas partes. La violencia es mayor. Y la violencia no tiene ningún motivo aparente. Es como el polvo en el aire, parte de la vida misma”.

The Myths of Mexico and Peru
Paperback Publisher: IndoEuropean Publishing.com (June 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1604445254
ISBN-13: 978-1604445251
Lewis Spence 

Fiscal Decentralization in Mexico
Paperback LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing (June 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 3843353212
ISBN-13: 978-3843353212

Current research of fiscal decentralization evaluates the level of decentralization and the impacts on the fiscal effort of municipalities by measuring it or by observing the impact in terms of revenue collection.

These studies are important but they do not capture the behavior and challenges that the local administrative structure faces given the policy design and existing administrative resources. In contrast, this dissertation explores the impacts that the fiscal decentralization process has had on the fiscal effort of local administrative structures.

The analysis is based on interviews, documents and partial observation of two municipalities in Mexico. This research shows that the fiscal decentralization process in Mexico has had partial positive impacts on the fiscal effort of local administrative structure. 

Mainly it has improved accountability. Yet, the local administrative structure has also responded by improving its rational financial choice process through the implementation of conditional grants and in the main detailed consideration of priorities, political cost and level of revenues.

Women, Migration, and Domestic Work on the Texas-Mexico Border
(The New Americans: Recent Immigration and American Society)
Library Binding Publisher: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC (June 10, 2011)
ISBN-10: 159332457X ISBN-13: 978-1593324575
Christina Mendoza

Mendoza examines cross-border migration by Mexican women, who live in Mexico and work in domestic service in the U.S.. She finds that multiple factors such as age, financial stability, and previous work experience draw women to migrate across the border daily.

In addition, gender, social class, and nationality transform the spaces they encounter crossing the border. These spaces shape the reception and the perception of their status as migrants. 

The legality of cross-border domestic workers fluctuates and is complicated by the safe and risky spaces they inhabit on their journey. Finally, Michele Lamont's theory of symbolic boundaries is important to understand the relationship between Mexican American employers and Mexican employees at the border.

Women in Mexican Folk Art: Of Promises, Betrayals, Monsters, and Celebrities
(University of Wales - Iberian and Latin American Studies)
Paperback University of Wales Press (June 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0708323642 ISBN-13: 978-0708323649
Eli Bartra

Mexico is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary folk art, and the majority of its highly acclaimed pieces were created by women. 

Looking closely at eight types of Mexican folk art, including votive paintings, embroidered exvotos, cardboard Judas dolls, reproductions of Frida Kahlo’s paintings made of clay, and clay figures from Cumicho called alebrijes, this beautifully illustrated volume is one of the first to trace the role and effects of gender on both the objects of Mexican folk art and the knowledge and life experiences that lie behind them.

Forgotten Franciscans: Works from an Inquisitional Theorist, a Heretic, and an Inquisitional Deputy 
(Latin American Originals) Paperback Publisher: Penn State Press (June 30, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0271048727 ISBN-13: 978-0271048727
Martin Austin Nesvig

The Franciscans were the first missionaries to come to Mexico, and the Franciscans developed important and lucrative ties with the newly rich conquistador elite and the faction behind Cortes.

The order quickly became the wealthiest, having the most dramatic missionary churches, owning prime real estate in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, and being de facto rulers of large indigenous communities.

Forgotten Franciscans offers documents and written works by three Spanish Franciscans of the early modern period who, while well known by their contemporaries, have been largely forgotten by modern-day scholars.

Alfonso de Castro, an inquisitional theorist, offers a defense of Indian education; Alonso Cabello, convicted of Erasmianism in Mexico City, discusses Christ's humanity in a Nativity sermon; and Diego Mueoz, an inquisitional deputy, investigates witchcraft in Celaya. Together they offer new perspectives on the mythologies and realities of Franciscan thought in the New World.

Mexico: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Hardcover Cambridge Univ Pr (Sd) (June 30, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0521814766
ISBN-13: 978-0521814768
Alan Knight 

Performing Piety: Making Space Sacred with the Virgin of Guadalupe
Paperback University of California Press; 1 edition (June 12, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0520268342 ISBN-13: 978-0520268340
Elaine A. Peña

The Virgin of Guadalupe, though quintessentially Mexican, inspires devotion throughout the Americas and around the world.

This study sheds new light on the long-standing transnational dimensions of Guadalupan worship by examining the production of sacred space in three disparate but interconnected locations--at the sacred space known as Tepeyac in Mexico City, at its replica in Des Plaines, Illinois, and at a sidewalk shrine constructed by Mexican nationals in Chicago.

Weaving together rich on-the-ground observations with insights drawn from performance studies, Elaine A. Peña demonstrates how devotees' rituals--pilgrimage, prayers, and festivals--develop, sustain, and legitimize these sacred spaces.

Interdisciplinary in scope, Performing Piety paints a nuanced picture of the lived experience of Guadalupan devotion in which different forms of knowing, socio-economic and political coping tactics, conceptions of history, and faith-based traditions circulate within and between sacred spaces.

Saldos de Guerra, las victimas civiles en la lucha contra el narco (Spanish Edition)
Paperback Publisher: Planeta Publishing; NONE edition (June 21, 2011)
Language: Spanish
ISBN-10: 6070707001
ISBN-13: 978-6070707001
Victor Ronquillo (Author)

Luis De Carvajal, a Biography
Hardcover Sunstone Press (June 25, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0865348294 ISBN-13: 978-0865348295
Samuel Temkin (Author)

In 1579 Philip II awarded a large territory in New Spain to a Portuguese man named Luis de Carvajal.

That territory included a significant portion of present day Mexico, as well as portions of Texas and New Mexico. This remarkable man discovered, conquered, and settled most of that territory. He also brought a large group of settlers from Spain and Portugal whose impact on its cultural development was very significant.

Many of those settlers were of Jewish descent and some of them were tried by the Inquisition for practicing the faith of their ancestors. This book is a biography of Carvajal and is based on documents that were written during his life or soon after his death. The narrative follows him from birth to death and describes the actions he took to give rise to Nuevo Reino de Leon.

These included explorations and discoveries; battles with free Indians; pacifications of Indian uprisings; and legal fights with Crown officials who were determined to eliminate him and to end his government. In the end his enemies defeated him with the help of the Inquisition, but the political entity he gave rise to did not die with him.

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