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Conversations with Moctezuma: Ancient Shadows over Modern Life in Mexico

Conversations with Moctezuma: Ancient Shadows over Modern Life in Mexico

by Dick J. Reavis

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reavis, senior editor of Texas Monthly, who lived in Mexico for a year, interprets the Mexican character in terms of the people's fatalism, their emphasis on family and local affairs, their perceived resistance to technology and the West's credo of personal success. His most telling observations in this rambling, forthright travelogue emerge through firsthand reportage as he covers an anti-nuke protest at a power plant, visits a village occupied by peasant guerrillas, tracks down Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, follows the 1988 presidential election marked by murders, mayhem and accusations of fraud. The shifting tapestry includes incisive commentary on Mexico's ``marginalized'' semi-employed, corruption, squatter towns and folk medicine, and Mexican Catholics' synthesis of pagan and Christian beliefs. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Reavis, senior editor of Texas Monthly magazine, has written a fascinating account of the ethnography of Mexico. Politics--from Quetzalcoatl to the failure of the Mexican constitution and antinuke demonstrations--is his frame to study the Mexican national character. Reavis brings together elements of history, religion, and folklore, as well as politics, in an ethnographic web of interrelationships. He concludes that `` . . . Mexico lives on two planes, that of Western or Euro-American civilization, and that of Indo-American civilization, its own. It leads two lives, one of them imposing and hypocritical, the other oppressed and sincere.'' The book is well-written, from a strong first-person point of view; despite some organizational drawbacks (there is neither bibliography nor index), the work makes Mexico accessible.--Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, Ore.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st ed

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