"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Books: Topic Mexico

New Books: Topic Mexico

The Mythologies Of Ancient Mexico And Peru
Paperback Theophania Publishing (July 30, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1770832661 ISBN-13: 978-1770832664
Lewis Spence (Author)

It is difficult to understand the neglect into which the study of the Mexican and Peruvian mythologies has fallen. 

A zealous host of interpreters are engaged in the elucidation of the mythologies of Egypt and Assyria, but, if a few enthusiasts in the United States of America be excepted, the mythologies of the ancient West have no following whatsoever. 

That this little book may lead many to a fuller examination of those profoundly interesting faiths is the earnest hope of one in whose judgment they are second in importance to no other mythological system. 

By a comparative study of the American mythologies the student of other systems will reap his reward in the shape of many a parallel and many an elucidation which otherwise would escape his notice; whilst the general reader will introduce himself into a sphere of the most fascinating interest—the interest in the attitude towards the eternal verities of the peoples of a new and isolated world.

Rise of the Latin American Baseball Leagues, 1947-1961: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela
Paperback Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub (July 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0786463848 ISBN-13: 978-0786463848
Lou Hernandez (Author)

Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico
Paperback University of California Press; 1 edition (July 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0520269594 ISBN-13: 978-0520269590
Debra Lattanzi Shutika (Author)

Since the 1990s, migration from Mexico to the United States has moved beyond the borderlands to diverse communities across the country, with the most striking transformations in American suburbs and small towns. 

This study explores the challenges encountered by Mexican families as they endeavor to find their place in the U.S. by focusing on Kennett Square, a small farming village in Pennsylvania known as the "Mushroom Capital of the World." 

In a highly readable account based on extensive fieldwork among Mexican migrants and their American neighbors, Debra Lattanzi Shutika explores the issues of belonging and displacement that are central concerns for residents in communities that have become new destinations for Mexican settlement. 

Beyond the Borderlands also completes the circle of migration by following migrant families as they return to their hometown in Mexico, providing an illuminating perspective of the tenuous lives of Mexicans residing in, but not fully part of, two worlds.

Daily Life in Colonial Mexico: The Journey of Friar Ilarione da Bergamo, 1761-1768  
(American Exploration and Travel Series) \
Paperback University of Oklahoma Press (July 30, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0806142332 ISBN-13: 978-0806142333
 Friar Ilarione da Bergamo (Author), Robert Ryal Miller (Editor), William J. Orr (Translator)

In 1761 Ilarione da Bergamo, a Capuchin friar, journeyed to Mexico to gather alms for foreign missions. After harrowing voyages across the Mediterranean and Atlantic, he reached Mexico City in 1763. His account reveals the squalor, crime, and other perils in the viceregal capital, and details daily life: food, public hygiene, sexual morality, medical practices, and popular diversions. 

His observations about religious life are particularly valuable. Ilarione also describes mining and refining techniques, recounts a bitter and bloody miners’ strike, and recalls traveling across bandit-infested wilderness to Guadalajara.
After his return to Italy, Ilarione wrote an account of his journey, published here for the first time in English. 

The editors have liberally annotated the text, written an introduction about Ilarione’s life and the historical context of his journey, and included more than a dozen of Fra Ilarione’s original drawings, including maps and sketches of Mexican flora. Daily Life in Colonial Mexico is a welcome addition to the firsthand literature of New Spain.

Yesterday in Mexico: A Chronicle of the Revolution, 1910-1936
Paperback University of Texas Press (July 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0292729723 ISBN-13: 978-0292729728
John W. F. Dulles (Author)

Early in a sixteen-year sojourn in Mexico as an engineer for an American mining company, John W. F. Dulles became fascinated by the story of Mexico's emergence as a modern nation, and was imbued with the urge to tell that story as it had not yet been told--by letting events speak for themselves, without any interpretations or appraisal. 

The resultant book offers an interesting paradox: it is "chronicle" in the medieval sense--a straightforward record of events in chronological order, recounted with no effort at evaluation or interpretation; yet in one aspect it is a highly personal narrative, since much of its significant new material came to Dulles as a result of personal interviews with principals of the Revolution. 

From them he obtained firsthand versions of events and other reminiscences, and he has distilled these accounts into a work of history characterized by thorough research and objective narration.

These fascinating interviews were no more important, however, than were the author's many hours of laborious search in libraries for accounts of the events from Carranza's last year to Calles' final retirement from the Mexican scene. 

The author read scores of impassioned versions of what transpired during these fateful years, accounts written from every point of view, virtually all of them unpublished in English and many of them documents which had never been published in any language.

Combining this material with the personal reminiscences, Dulles has provided a narrative rich in its new detail, dispassionate in its presentation of facts, dramatic in its description of the clash of armies and the turbulence of rough-and-tumble politics, and absorbing in its panoramic view of a people's struggle.

In it come to life the colorful men of the Revolution --Obregón, De la Huerta, Carranza, Villa, Pani, Carillo Puerto, Morones, Calles, Portes Gil, Vasconcelos, Ortiz Rubio, Garrido Canabal, Rodríguez, Cárdenas. (Dulles' narrative of their public actions is illumined occasionally by humorous anecdotes and by intimate glimpses.) 

From it emerges also, as the main character, Mexico herself, struggling for self-discipline, for economic stability, for justice among her citizens, for international recognition, for democracy.

This account will be prized for its encyclopedic collection of facts and for its important clarification of many notable events, among them the assassination of Carranza, the De La Huerta revolt, the assassination of Obregón, the trial of Toral, the resignation of President Ortiz Rubio, and the break between Cárdenas and Calles. More than sixty photographs supplement the text.

The History and Development of Psychoanalysis in Mexico: The Conquista and Latin American Identity
Hardcover Edwin Mellen Pr (July 15, 2011) 
ISBN-10: 0773415483 ISBN-13: 978-0773415485
Raul Paramo-ortega (Author), Herdis Amelie Wawretzko (Translator), Dale Kaplan (Translator), Hannes Stubbe (Foreword)

This work provides a history of psychoanalysis in Mexico and discusses the effects of culture, language and history on the development and application of psychoanalysis in different milieus. 

These essays treat the investigation and contextualization of the transference of an 'imported cultural good' which is the psychoanalysis as it was initiated and marked by Freud (as a method to investigate the unconscious, as a therapy, as a theory of personality and above all as culture criticism).

The first chapter is a historiographical reconstruction, the second chapter adopts a cultural and historical perspective, the last chapter examines the transcendent effects of the conquista.

Beyond la Frontera: The History of Mexico-U.S. Migration
Paperback Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (July 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0195382226 ISBN-13: 978-0195382228
Mark Overmyer-Velazquez (Author)

Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date historical overview of Mexican migration to the U.S., Beyond la Frontera: The History of Mexico-U.S. Migration examines the transnational and historical impact of migratory trends as they developed in Mexico and the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. 

Featuring essays by leading authors in the field, the book utilizes both a chronological and thematic structure, referencing mutually influential periods in Mexican and Mexican-American history. 

Taking into consideration the bi-national historical factors and narrative constructions of Mexican migration, Beyond la Frontera also describes how we may better understand the persistent legislative debates surrounding migrant rights and national sovereignty.

Daily Life of the Aztecs
(The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series)
Hardcover Greenwood; 2 edition (July 6, 2011)ISBN-10: 0313377448 ISBN-13: 978-0313377440
Davíd Carrasco (Author), Scott Sessions (Author)

The Aztecs were an amazingly advanced culture, creating beautiful art and architecture, a calendar, and a rich mythology. 

They were also a culture that practiced ritual human sacrifice to rejuvenate their plants and ensure the continued cycles of the stars, the moon, and the sun. How does one reconcile these seemingly disparate forces?

Dancing Home
Hardcover Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 12, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1416900888 ISBN-13: 978-1416900887
Alma Flor Ada (Author), Gabriel M. Zubizarreta (Author)

A year of discoveries culminates in a performance full of surprises, as two girls find their own way to belong.

Mexico may be her parents’ home, but it’s certainly not Margie’s. She has finally convinced the other kids at school she is one-hundred percent American—just like them. But when her Mexican cousin Lupe visits, the image she’s created for herself crumbles.

Things aren’t easy for Lupe, either. Mexico hadn’t felt like home since her father went North to find work. Lupe’s hope of seeing him in the United States comforts her some, but learning a new language in a new school is tough. Lupe, as much as Margie, is in need of a friend.

Little by little, the girls’ individual steps find the rhythm of one shared dance, and they learn what “home” really means. In the tradition of My Name is Maria Isabel—and simultaneously published in English and in Spanish—Alma Flor Ada and her son Gabriel M. Zubizarreta offer an honest story of family, friendship, and the classic immigrant experience: becoming part of something new, while straying true to who you are.

Emiliano Zapata: A Biography
(Greenwood Biographies) Hardcover Greenwood (July 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0313380805 ISBN-13: 978-0313380808
Albert P. Rolls (Author)

Emiliano Zapata is regarded as among the most important figures of the Mexican Revolution. This book provides more than just a biography of a great leader; it enables readers to understand who Zapata was and the interests and ideologies he supported, emphasizing his ideals and distinguishing him from those who have used his name for their own purposes.

Emiliano Zapata: A Biography is organized chronologically, detailing Zapata's youth and early adulthood in the years preceding the Mexican Revolution; his role in getting his home state involved in the Revolution; and his ascent to power in Morelos' revolutionary movement. 

The author elucidates Zapata's continual struggle to bring meaningful change to the lives of Mexico's poorest people, how his commitment to revolutionary reform came to define his existence, and how his ideals led to his own violent death as they had to the deaths of so many of his adversaries. A fascinating read for high school students as well as general readers, this biography tells an unforgettable story of one of Mexico's heroic figures.

The Southern Maya in the Late Preclassic: The Rise and Fall of an Early Mesoamerican Civilization
Hardcover University Press of Colorado (July 18, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1607320924 ISBN-13: 978-1607320920
Michael Love (Author, Editor), Jonathan Kaplan (Author, Editor)

From 400 BC to AD 250, the southern Maya region was one of most remarkable civilizations of the ancient Americas. Filled with great cities linked by flourishing long-distance trade, shared elite ideologies, and a vibrant material culture, this region was pivotal not only for the Maya but for Mesoamerica as a whole. 

Although it has been of great interest to scholars, gaps in the knowledge have led to debate on the most vital questions about the southern region.

Recent research has provided a wealth of broadly based new data that have expanded the understanding of this region and its influence on greater Mesoamerica. In The Southern Maya in the Late Preclassic, prominent contributors debate whether the southern region was indeed "Maya" or instead a region of intense multiethnic interaction, with speakers of many languages and many sources of identity. 

The chapters address a host of advanced developments to which this area can lay claim--urbanism and city-states, the earliest Maya writing, and the origin of the Maya calendar--as well as additional issues including the construction of social and cultural identities, economic networks of early complex societies, relationships between the Maya and the Olmec, and a comprehensive discussion of the ancient city of Kaminaljuyu and its relationship to other cities in the region.

Black in Latin America
Hardcover NYU Press (July 27, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0814732984 ISBN-13: 978-0814732984
Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Author)

12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World during the Middle Passage. While just over 11.0 million survived the arduous journey, only about 450,000 of them arrived in the United States. 

The rest—over ten and a half million—were taken to the Caribbean and Latin America. This astonishing fact changes our entire picture of the history of slavery in the Western hemisphere, and of its lasting cultural impact. 

These millions of Africans created new and vibrant cultures, magnificently compelling syntheses of various African, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.

Despite their great numbers, the cultural and social worlds that they created remain largely unknown to most Americans, except for certain popular, cross-over musical forms. 

So Henry Louis Gates, Jr. set out on a quest to discover how Latin Americans of African descent live now, and how the countries of their acknowledge—or deny—their African past; how the fact of race and African ancestry play themselves out in the multicultural worlds of the Caribbean and Latin America. Starting with the slave experience and extending to the present, Gates unveils the history of the African presence in six Latin American countries—Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru—through art, music, cuisine, dance, politics, and religion, but also the very palpable presence of anti-black racism that has sometimes sought to keep the black cultural presence from view. 

In Brazil, he delves behind the façade of Carnaval to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world's largest slave economy.
In Cuba, he finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island is inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro's Communist revolution in 1959.

In Haiti, he tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves's hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire became a double-edged sword.

In Mexico and Peru, he explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people—far greater than the number brought to the United States—brought to these countries as early as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru.

Professor Gates' journey becomes ours as we are introduced to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans who created these worlds. He shows both the similarities and distinctions between these cultures, and how the New World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents. “Black in Latin America” is the third instalment of Gates's documentary trilogy on the Black Experience in Africa, the United States, and in Latin America. 

In America Behind the Color Line, Professor Gates examined the fortunes of the black population of modern-day America. In Wonders of the African World, he embarked upon a series of journeys to reveal the history of African culture. 

Now, he brings that quest full-circle in an effort to discover how Africa and Europe combined to create the vibrant cultures of Latin America, with a rich legacy of thoughtful, articulate subjects whose stories are astonishingly moving and irresistibly compelling.

Reining in the Rio Grande: People, Land, and Water
Hardcover University of New Mexico Press (July 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0826349439 ISBN-13: 978-0826349439
Fred M. Phillips (Author), G. Emlen Hall (Author), Mary Black (Author)

The Rio Grande was ancient long before the first humans reached its banks. These days, the highly regulated river looks nothing like it did to those early settlers. 

Alternately viewed as a valuable ecosystem and life-sustaining foundation of community welfare or a commodity to be engineered to yield maximum economic benefit, the Rio Grande has brought many advantages to those who live in its valley, but the benefits have come at a price.

This study examines human interactions with the Rio Grande from prehistoric time to the present day and explores what possibilities remain for the desert river. From the perspectives of law, development, tradition, and geology, the authors weigh what has been gained and lost by reining in the Rio Grande.

Octavio Paz: Humanism and Critique
Paperback Transcript Verlag (July 27, 2011)ISBN-10: 3837613046 ISBN-13: 978-3837613049
Oliver Kozlarek (Editor)

Octavio Pa is one of the most recognized of Latin American writers. His essays offer a sophisticated critique of global modernity. Although his work has advanced many of the arguments that orient our contemporary debates in the social sciences and in philosophy, it has hardly ever been seriously considered within theses disciplines. 

This volume suggests that this may have been a mistake. Its authors indicate ways in which Pa essays can be read as substantial contributions to contemporary debates in various fields. 

They aim to present to a non-Spanish speaking audience some of the discussions about Pa offerings to the ongoing debates. The book also wants to make a clear statement: a critique of our contemporary modernity must go hand in hand with a non-exclusive intercultural understanding of Humanism.

Oliver Kolarek teaches political and social philosophy and social theory at the Institute for Philosophical Research at Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Mexico and is a visiting professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa in Mexico-City.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Lunes con Lalo: Airplane Musings

Lunes con Lalo: Airplane Musings
Poetic Wisdom for Your Week by Abelardo Delgado

To the left of the plane are the sangre cristo mountains

the no-smoke sign gone
they all armed themselves, i could've sworn,
like racers they looked at it to start
once it went off,
all calibers, winston to my left,
sales to my right
and started shooting at each other
with smoke,
the social-cancer-causing ritual...
how many more days when pot legal
will join these wars acceptedly.
a pause, dinner was served,
the trays removed, the
matches and lighters initiated the battle
once again, and i inhaled,
what two or three had exhaled,
thinking, funny i never did smoke myself,
probably never will,
i do enjoy seeing some girl/woman
now and then bring the white rifle
to her pretty lips and graciously
fire the curls of smoke that
enshroud her pretty face/eyes
and make her even lovelier,
but we are just getting
ready to land into eight inches of snow in denver
and i have better things to remember.....
                      by Abelardo

15 minute delay

will a fifteen minute delay in houston's airport
disrupt the ability of eternity to import
foreign matter into the sole vacuum
of existence,
reason, peaks a tinsy bit at the window
watching humanity only partially undress
and i read last sunday
that the sun will burn itself out,
that, i presume to be the purpose
a god designed for mr. sun,
as he must have designed
a yet more destructive one
for mr. lon nol
but i hear clearly above the noise
of the harligen bound jet
the buzz of spirits playing cards
on the isles
as the two hostesses serve
refreshments up and down
filmed, recorded, stored, taped, filed
and the godness of infinity is
again measured in the change of time,
….time zones, you know....
and i close my eyes
and either die ahead of time
or see the womb, not my mother's but the speak of distant
in which all knowledge of my being flowing freely gusts.
 by Abelardo

"15 Minute Delay" and "To the left of the plane are the sangre cristo mountains," (c) Abelardo Delgado. Published with permission of the Delgado estate.

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