Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President

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As a farm boy I was an indifferent student, more interested in baling hay than studying mathematics. But history I loved, drinking in the stories of the great heroes of Mexico's struggle for independence, our revolution and the Cristero rebellion, told to me around the fire by men who had fought for freedom in the early 1900s. And if history proves nothing else, it is this: Walls don't work.

The Great Wall of China didn't work. The Berlin Wall didn't work. The West Bank Barrier ...

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Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President

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Overview

As a farm boy I was an indifferent student, more interested in baling hay than studying mathematics. But history I loved, drinking in the stories of the great heroes of Mexico's struggle for independence, our revolution and the Cristero rebellion, told to me around the fire by men who had fought for freedom in the early 1900s. And if history proves nothing else, it is this: Walls don't work.

The Great Wall of China didn't work. The Berlin Wall didn't work. The West Bank Barrier won't work. Walls never work. Walls are a medieval solution to a twenty-first-century problem. Mongols invade them. Escapees tunnel under them. Television beams over them. Today, as National Guard troops patrol the rivers from Arizona to Iraq, the United States isn't building a wall. It is building a prison.

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Editorial Reviews

Pamela Constable
Fox's book, Revolution of Hope, written in English and launched with a U.S. tour, makes a direct plea to the American people to see Mexican immigrants in a kinder light. He wants us to have patience with Mexico's fledgling efforts at political and economic reform, and to seek common solutions rather than building walls. His tone is often hyperbolic, but his message is heartfelt.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Fox, who broke 71 years of one-party rule in Mexico when he became president in 2000, recounts his unconventional approach to Mexican politics as well as how he got there in the first place. With co-writer and political consultant Allyn, he explains his beginnings on his family's ranch, where he slowly began to realize the great difference between himself and the farmhands' children with whom he played. Though he was eventually sent to high school in Wisconsin and completed a university degree in Mexico City, Fox never shed his ranchero ways, rendered rather nostalgically in the book. After a stint as a young top executive with Coca-Cola, Fox began his political career, wearing cowboy boots the whole way. In addition to the story of his assent in politics, Fox offers his opinions on immigration and economic integration, the latter of which he is great proponent. Written with an American audience in mind, he repeatedly presents the argument that more trade between the United States and Mexico, with more jobs in Mexico-not a wall-is the solution to immigration problems. Fox is candid in the book and opens up about the controversial moments of his political career. However, the book reveals less about Fox than about his hopeful vision for the world. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Engaging and insightful.
Larry King
An extraordinary book.
Kirkus Reviews
Memoir of the former Mexican president, whose remarkable rise to power was followed by a six-year tenure in office that was marked by an extraordinary upswing in the country's fortunes. Published less than a year after his presidency came to a close, this wide-ranging overview of Fox's life unfolds at a furious pace, as he catalogs his many personal and professional achievements. Fox and co-author Allyn keep the political rhetoric to a minimum, only occasionally lapsing into corny sweeping statements about the state of the world. Instead, they focus on Fox's transformation from a truck driver for Coca-Cola to the first Mexican president to be elected from an opposition party since 1920. The book initially focuses on Fox's early life, offering insight into his upbringing, details about his family life and vivid descriptions of the poverty that beset the country in the future president's formative years. Though his family was by no means wealthy, his father's career as a ranchero earned enough for Fox to study at a Jesuit school in Wisconsin. Menial jobs followed, and, in a move that paralleled his astounding rise to president, Fox managed to work his way up from truck driver to CEO of Coca-Cola's Mexican operation. As Fox reveals his admirable achievements, he litters the text with asides, comments and anecdotes, most of which make for revealing and entertaining reading. He unravels his encounter with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Fox had his own "Schwarzenegger problem," as his mother was not a native Mexican citizen), offers his timely opinion on Barack Obama, discusses his differences with George W. Bush, presents a passionate argument for globalization and explains why he's a voracious readerof political memoirs. These elements, along with the thrilling descriptions of the buildup to Fox's election victory, provide a welcome personal touch to an already well-documented story. Cynics looking for PR spin may be surprised by this book, which is driven by Fox's undeniable raconteurial skills and his keen eye for drama.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670018390
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/4/2007
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicente Fox, born in Mexico in 1942, was the president of Mexico from 2000—2006. Before being elected president he was a rancher, boot-maker, Coca-Cola CEO, and governor.
Rob Allyn is an author, commentator, speech writer, and political consultant who has worked closely with Fox for a decade.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Year of Hidalgo     xi
The Night Watchman     1
Making the Americas     18
Men for Others     29
The Cola Wars     54
The Imperfect Dictators     70
The House of the Cradle     83
Guns in the Belly     104
My Schwarzenegger Problem     127
The Windshield Cowboy     139
The Bread Woman of Bangladesh     154
The Burn Bag     171
The Spirit of San Cristobal     195
September 7     313
Fortress America     231
The Farmers in the Road     251
Comparing Notes     265
Be Careful What You Wish For     281
One Foot on the Floor     294
Departures     308
At the Feet of the Horses     320
Walls of Fear, Dreams of Hope     335
Index     357
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 4, 2010

    He did more for Mexico than you know.

    This book gives great insight into the life and presidency of a man who fought bravely to bring true democracy to Mexico. He gives an honest assessment of his decisions and humbly expresses what he may have done differently. He takes the reader backstage for behind the scenes explanation about what happened during key historical events. He discusses Bush, Castro, Putin, Obrador, Calderon and a whole array of contemporary politicians. This book is a must read if you want to understand why Mexico is the way it is, but most importantly, the great potential that the country has. Informative with a sprinkle of humor, you'll see the former Mexican President in a different light. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    Si ni siquiera sabe leer bien

    !Qué podemos esperar de este libro si el autor difícilmente podía expresar una oración sin "cuatrapearse"!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    excelent...a good balance between his own story and mexican history

    former president of mexico vicente fox writes a biography/history lesson/revalutionary testimonial. he uses alot of examples from mexican history and showed how they shaped his political mind. growing up on a farm and then later becoming a farmer himself, president fox tells the gripping story of how he inspired an entire culture to overcome sevnty years of oppression and help lay the groundwork for a new mexico. president fox shows us that the american dream is far beyond american borders.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    Un ciudadano comprometido

    El libro en lo personal me gusto mucho. Creo que una persona como Fox siempre será criticado sobre todo por aquellos que se beneficiaban grandemente del status quo que prevalecia antes de su llegada. Considero que Fox tuvo grandes aciertos (aunque esto disguste a los del PRI y los del PRD). Considero que tener el valor de plasmar sus ideas e ideales en un libro tiene un gran valor que debemos aquilatar ya que expone sus puntos de vista y esta abierto al debate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    Un recuento egocéntrico

    Es muy posible que muchos ignorantes de lo que significó la presidencia fox, puedan considerarlo un libro, en mi opinión es un panfleto de ínfima calidad que no merece ninguna atención

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    view from the outside

    this is a great book! i will greatly recommend it specially for all the mexican people who still have an ignorant attitude towards this president. On this book, he clearly details all the things he did trying to change things for his country and how over and over was sabotage by the propaganda clealy orchestrated by the PRI. I admire his endurance, his persevarance, and all his accomplishments. Because he accomplished at least a little something more that presidents from the PRI in 51 years.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2007

    Revolution of Hope/Vicente Fox

    The book is educational though it does not coincide with U.S. media matter. The chapters are easy to follow, sometimes a little politically monotonous. This book will probably be used in Chicano Studies at colleges.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2007

    Uno más de los libros para olvidar

    No es un libro entretenido. Solo es un recuento de autoelogios. Además no creo que el ex-presidente haya sido capaz de escribirlo, dudo que sea capaz de leer uno solo. El comprar este libro es tirar el dinero a la basura.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2007

    las memorias de un ladron

    No se si un ejemplo de una lectura recomendable sea la recopilacion de memorias de un sujeto que traiciono la democracia en su pais y que desilusiono a millones de mexicanos que tenian cifradas en él sus esperanzas de un cambio en Mexico y ahora se enfrentan a la triste realidad de que su heroe no es mas que un vil ladron igual que sus antecesores.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    Messages For Our Time

    This is an excellent book. Vicente Fox has a great message on what he believes could significantly improve the immigration situation between Mexico and USA, and why getting it right is so very important for the USA. Also good insights into how hard it is to recover a country through democracy after decades of dictatorship rule.

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