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CriticasRenowned journalist Loret de Mola has written extensively about political corruption and scandal in his native Mexico. His best-selling titles include such journalistic accounts as Manos sucias (Dirty Hands, Oceano, 1996) and a novel based on the life of ex-president Ernesto Zedillo, El gran simulador (The Great Pretender, Grijalbo, 1998). This latest work is based on the life of Marta Sahagun, the wife and former spokeswoman for President Vicente Fox, the first non-PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) leader in 70 years. The narrative consists of a factual section followed by a fictitious scene that is supposed to take place in the near future. The mix of fact and fiction makes the book difficult to shelve in bookstores and libraries. Both sections examine the couple's political and personal relationships in intimate detail. Loret de Mola portrays Marta as a modern-day Evita: an ambitious, power-hungry schemer who seeks the presidency for herself. In the fictional section, Marta defeats Fox in a future election and divorces him for impotency. Mexican intellectual Jorge Castaneda, Fidel Castro, and the pope are just some of the characters featured here. Written in a casual, intimate style, this book is ultimately more about gossip than history. Loret de Mola uses quotations that could have come from either actual interviews or his imagination. Surprisingly, there are no photographs, only a putative copy of a medical report documenting Fox's impotence. This book will amuse readers who are already immersed in current Mexican politics and personalities. Recommended for bookstores and some public libraries serving Mexican immigrants.
—Lynn Shirey, Harvard Coll. Lib., Cambridge,MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.