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The Washington Post
"...provocative and highly informative."
The influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States throughout the years has impacted our culture, labor force, and economy. Often these individuals are blamed for the perceived ills they bring to this country. Yet few people ever consider the profound influence that the United States has on Mexico.
In this first book to view modern Mexico in the era of NAFTA and globalization, In the Shadow of the Giant offers insight into the land on our southern border.
What we find is a nation that looks more like the United States than even Mexicans themselves could have imagined a decade ago: Rates of obesity are second only to the United States among the world's industrialized countries. Recreational drug use is soaring among young Mexicans Citigroup owns the largest bank in Mexico Wal-Mart is the country's biggest private employer revealing a vastly different physical and cultural landscape from his days as a young journalist living in Mexico in the mid-1980s, Joseph Contreras tracks the relentless and ongoing Americanization of his ancestral home. Although these changes may seem a natural part of globalization, the country had long prided itself on the social, political, economic and even spiritual differences that distinguished it from the United States. In addition to embracing our virtues and vices, Contreras argues that our southern neighbor has become a de facto economic colony of the United States.
At a time when immigration looms as a leading hot-button issue in American politics, the time is ripe for examining our influences, for better or worse, on our neighbor to the south.
Introduction The United States of Mexico 1
1 A Chicano Comes to the Big Enchilada: Mexico City, 1984-1987 19
2 Not Such Distant Neighbors: Mexico in the Era of Vicente Fox 38
3 Looking Northward 63
4 NAFTA: The Double-Edged Sword of Free Trade 87
5 The New Breed of Mexican Businessmen 103
6 The Modern Mexican News Media 118
7 The Mexican Dream 135
8 The Gringo Riviera 151
9 The Umbilical Cord of Remittances 165
10 The Southernmost City in Texas: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon 183
11 Made-in-the-U.S.A. Diseases 205
12 The Evangelical Challenge 220
Conclusion: An Invaded Country 235
Selected Bibliography 261