"You really have to see "it" for yourself." So friends said when the topic meandered to Mexico City, and they were right! Yet the raw starkness of Monasterio's photographs captures the ugly beauty of this megalopolis even better than the fleeting human eye might. Isolating moments of this ever expanding city, his lens calls up the tragic as well as the comic in the human endeavor. In each, an individual moment of grace is stilled, though its actors were in motion: a blind man gazes into heaven while a small child walks by, a sun hat like a halo around her little head, her eyes seeming to look out for him as well as her. Another image shows two young men playing matadors while, just above them, cars rush--tradition and modernity juxtaposed. This "is" Mexico City: past and future battling while more humanity continues to stream into it. Concluding with an informative essay by JoseEmilio Pacheco, this handsome volume makes a valuable addition to current events as well as fine photography collections.