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In this investigation of lucha libre wrestling, Levi's immersion in the Mexican professional wrestling world and her training as a luchadora(female wrestler) give her an insider's perspective well-placed to analyze the rich symbolic vocabulary the sport has conferred on political and cultural life. The author, an anthropologist, delves into the significance of masks, theatrics and familial training, capably recreating the action in the ring to demonstrate how técnicos(technical wrestlers), rudos(rule-breakers), referees and spectators interact to create the spectacle. Levi examines how luchadoras and exoticos(feminine male wrestlers) support and subvert Mexican gender roles, why masked luchadores moonlight as political activists and how lucha libre has recently re-emerged as pop culture kitsch on this side of the border in the movie Nacho Libre and the Cartoon Network's Mucha Lucha. While the book is too academic to be an entertaining piece of reportage, it is a good primer. Its sophisticated analysis links lucha libre with Mexican political theater in which the heroes and villains work for the same team, masks alternately hide and reveal the truth, and the outcomes are determined before the matches even begin. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.