How to Succeed at Globalization: A Primer for the Roadside Vendor

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A biting comic-book history of capitalism and globalization from the “dean of Mexico’s vigorous corps of political cartoonists” (The New York Times)

In hopes of curing his business woes, Charro Machorro—windshield washer, roadside vendor, and free-market enthusiast—pays a visit to a faith healer in the Arizona desert and learns more than he bargained for about how the free market really works. To increase his profits, the healer suggests, he should establish his company during ...

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Overview

A biting comic-book history of capitalism and globalization from the “dean of Mexico’s vigorous corps of political cartoonists” (The New York Times)

In hopes of curing his business woes, Charro Machorro—windshield washer, roadside vendor, and free-market enthusiast—pays a visit to a faith healer in the Arizona desert and learns more than he bargained for about how the free market really works. To increase his profits, the healer suggests, he should establish his company during the Middle Ages, gain a monopoly, exploit natural resources, break up unions (though currently he’s the only employee), and, of course, become a multinational corporation. The healer’s $20,000 fee shows that she, at least, knows how to manage her own little business.

In a single, hilarious rush, cartoonist Rafael Barajas, aka El Fisgón (“the peeper”), takes us from the dawn of capitalism to the age of global conglomerates, showing how the world economy developed and how it functions today. Amid the laughs, he offers a critique of a planet in which the few “globalize” to their endless benefit, while everyone else suffers poverty, famine, migration, and war.

El Fisgón’s graphically stunning, visually sophisticated book, filled with allusions to the history of art and cartooning, cleverly reverses every self-help manual for playing the market, teaching us not how to become rich but rather why so many remain poor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mexican political cartoonist El Fisgon ("The Peeper") views history via economics in this sometimes amusing didactic work. For him, the villain is the free market economy model, and he blames globalization, Third World debt and the neoliberal economics of the IMF and WTO for every ill in society since the feudal age. While it's hard to argue that the neoliberal agenda has had generally disastrous consequences in South America and Africa since the 1980s, El Fisgon downplays the role that simple human greed plays in subverting every form of government, as the downfall of communism (which he acknowledges) shows. El Fisgon tells his story in a lively, accessible blend of text and pictures that prevents the work from coming across as a mere screed. Showing his versatility as an artist, El Fisgon mixes a variety of styles from elegantly realistic to broadly cartoony, along with images taken from Dorer and Dor to illustrate his wide-ranging thesis. As a broad economic history, the book often misses the mark with its simplistic finger-pointing. Its position on recent history-the belief, for instance, that the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were equally unwarranted-may come as a surprise to readers who think America is beloved in the rest of the Western Hemisphere. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
El Fisgon proves why he's Mexico's top political cartoonist with this comic-book history of capitalism featuring windshield washer Charro Machorro. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805073959
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Series: American Empire Project Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

El Fisgón is Mexico’s leading political cartoonist, author of seven cartoon books, co-founder of two satirical magazines, and illustrator of children’s books. A winner of Mexico’s National Journalism Prize, he lives in Mexico City.

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Table of Contents

Prologue

Introducing: Charro Machorro, The Biggest Loser

1.The Entrepreneurs Take Power

2.The Industrial Revolution and the Sins of Capital

3.Colonialism and Globalization in the Age of Industry

4.A Young Wheeler-Dealer Named Sam

5.War and Capitalism (Redundancy Intended)

6.Socialism, Nationalism, and Rheumatism

7.The Second World War

8.Some Burning Issues of the Cold War

9.How Neo is Neoliberalism?

10.The Computer Revolution

11.How to Impose Neoliberalism

12.World-Class Plunder

13.How to Leave the Third World Behind . . . And Find Yourself in the Fourth

14.Globalization, a.k.a. Economic Colonialism

15.The Fall of the Socialist Bloc

16.New World Order or New World Chaos?

17.Globaphobes of the World, Unite!

18.A Muddled Model

19.September 11, 2002

20.The Mess in Washington

21.The Terrorism of War

2022.How to Make a Big Mess Global

23.A Program of Action

Acknowledgments

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