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A political, social, cultural and economic study of Mexico by a journalist who spent six years as the New York Times bureau chief in Mexico City. Although published in 1984, it remains one of the best books ever written for anyone interested in Mexico, its people and its politics.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Alan Riding
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Mexico is undergoing economic and political changes that lie like landmines ready to explode beneath Uncle Sam’s footsteps.

By the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century Mexico-United States relations had begun to shred. The leaders of the two countries shared a master-servant façade of cooperation and commitment but faced eroding control of the economy, the flourishing drug trade and human rights issues.

Despite the propaganda to the contrary every year millions of Mexicans sank into poverty, their lands expropriated and the prices of basic necessities soaring. ICE agents swept through factories, farms and construction sites from Maine to California herding handcuffed “illegals” into detention facilities.

Both countries ignored human rights violations and corruption in order to maintain control over Mexico’s pro-neoliberal administration. Violence associated with the “War on Drugs” took over 70,000 lives without materially diminishing the U.S. market for cocaine, marijuana and designer drugs. Brutal repression of citizen protest provoked ongoing international criticism and alienated millions of Mexican citizens.

The country’s dependence on oil exports to finance social programs pressured the state-controlled monopoly to cut corners, creating pipeline leaks and other environmental disasters.

Hidden Dangers pinpoints five major “landmines” that seriously threaten both countries’ social and political structures. It includes first-hand observations of devaluations, political repressions and border conflicts and commentaries and analyses from officials and academics on both sides of the frontier.

The five principal sections investigate migration and its effects on both Mexico and the United States, the drug trade’s influence on the economies and politics of both countries, popular uprisings that challenge U.S. influence and neo-liberal politics, how Mexico’s deeply rooted “politics of corruption” binds the entrepreneurial and banking systems to government processes and environmental disasters, both real and in the making, created by the oil, lumber and cattle industries, toxic waste, floods and poisoned waterways.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Robert Joe Stout
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For those who are thinking to work or retire in Mexico, the expatriate colonies in San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala are well known.

For many Americans and Canadians coming south of the border to simply live or start a business abroad, the ability to tread a well-worn path is reassuring. Other folks who know the ropes are willing to help you get settled.

But what if you’re looking for an experience of Mexico undiluted by the presence of so many foreigners? This book reveals the stories of people who have moved to Mexico to settle in places that have only small or hardly any support communities; in one case a place that is nearly a ghost town.

Is this a different kind of expat? Does it require more independence of mind or only better Spanish? Find out here in their own words as you follow these conversations around the less well-traveled roads of Mexico off the beaten path.

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By John Scherber
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Award-winning author explores the fascinating history of the Lake Chapala region in Mexico, now one of the most popular retirement area for Americans and Canadians.

A unique collection of extracts from more than 50 original sources dating back to the 16th century is enhanced by insightful and entertaining commentary.

Poets, friars, travelers, exiles and scientists overcome bandits and natural disasters to offer captivating tales of courage, greed, delight, unexpected triumphs and much, much more.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Tony Burton
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Live Better South of the Border in Mexico is as necessary for the prospective transplant to Mexico as an airline ticket, a passport, or a roadmap. And the author’s entertaining and frank assessments will give readers the confidence to choose to move or not to move.

In addition to expert evaluations of gringo havens such as San Miguel de Allende, Guadalajara, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, Cuernavaca, and Baja, you’ll find information on how to work in Mexico, how to find a place to live, realistic costs for living in paradise, banking and owning property in Mexico, medical care, telephone and Internet access, and more!

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Mexico Mike Nelson
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Thinking about living in Mexico?

Perhaps you’ve heard it’s cheaper, warmer, and the culture is rich.  Places like San Miguel de Allende have support communities of expatriates, (about 8,000) to help you settle in.

But this is a big change!

Thinking about it can keep you awake nights. You ask yourself:

• How do other people make this work?

• How do I avoid making a mistake?

• What are the real costs of living there?

• How do I arrange for healthcare and an English-speaking physician?

• If I buy a house, what am I really getting?

• How do I transfer and handle my money intelligently and safely?

• Is the U.S. media telling the truth about crime in Mexico?

What if you were prepared? What if you knew the answers to these questions and many others before you decided to try it?

This book provides answers to the vital questions you must ask to make a move like this successfully. Plus, it offers a list of resources for further research.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By John Scherber
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Lonely Planet Mexico is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Explore the Maya ruins and superb beaches of Tulum, savour regional specialities amid the colonial charms of Merida or party hard at the dazzling resort of Puerto Vallarta; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Mexico and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet’s Mexico Travel Guide:

  • Color maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips – hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – history, ancient civilizations, economy, education, the drugs war, religion, sports, architecture, sculpture, painting, music, cinema, literature, folk art, food and drink, landscape, wildlife, environment
  • Over 120 maps
  • Covers Mexico City, Veracruz, Yucatan Peninsula, Chiapas, Oaxaca, central Pacific coast, central highlands, baja California, Copper Canyon and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Mexico, our most comprehensive guide to Mexico, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less traveled.

  • Looking for a guide focused on Cancun Cozumel & the Yucatan? Check out Lonely Planet’s Cancun Cozumel & the Yucatan guide for a comprehensive look at all these areas have to offer.

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By Lonely Planet
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Malintzin was the indigenous woman who translated for Hernando Cortés in his dealings with the Aztec emperor Moctezuma in the days of 1519 to 1521.

“Malintzin,” at least, was what the Indians called her. The Spanish called her doña Marina, and she has become known to posterity as La Malinche. As Malinche, she has long been regarded as a traitor to her people, a dangerously sexy, scheming woman who gave Cortés whatever he wanted out of her own self-interest.

The life of the real woman, however, was much more complicated. She was sold into slavery as a child, and eventually given away to the Spanish as a concubine and cook. If she managed to make something more out of her life — and she did — it is difficult to say at what point she did wrong.

In getting to know the trials and intricacies with which Malintzin’s life was laced, we gain new respect for her steely courage, as well as for the bravery and quick thinking demonstrated by many other Native Americans in the earliest period of contact with Europeans.

In this study of Malintzin’s life, Camilla Townsend rejects all the previous myths and tries to restore dignity to the profoundly human men and women who lived and died in those days.

Drawing on Spanish and Aztec language sources, she breathes new life into an old tale, and offers insights into the major issues of conquest and colonization, including technology and violence, resistance and accommodation, gender and power.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Camilla Townsend
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Mexican Slang 101 is the ultimate guide to Spanish slang as spoken in Mexico. This slim, but potent, book allows you to:

Be cool! Fake multiculturism! Make friends! Impress dates! Get your ass arrested! Be the hippest gringo at your beach or bar!
And, of course, mucho, mucho más.

“Mexican Slang 101 is a unique book that reveals the hip talk and occasionally lewd eloquence of the Spanish commonly spoken in Mexico and Latin America…you should buy this book!”

— “Mexico Mike” Nelson

This book isn’t a lightweight gimmick but a useful, insightful guide to a difficult subject…absolutely padrísimo!

—Carl Franz, Author of “A People’S Guide To Mexico”

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By Cabo Bob & Linton Robinson
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Mexico City, as one of the largest metropoli on the planet, can overwhelm even the most adventurous visitor. Thankfully, Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide for the Curious Traveler lends a thorough, guiding hand to help make the visitor’s stay outstanding.

Written by a longtime resident who knows the city inside and out, this travel guide delivers detailed walking tours of the city that include the most popular tourist sights as well as lesser-known spots. Johnston knows where to stay, what to do, and where to eat: everything from authentic market food to sophisticated Mexican cuisine.

What began as a collection of notes to share with good friends is now available to every newcomer looking for a joyful, memorable stay in Mexico City.

“This is the guidebook that I want. Wonderfully written, airtight information, organized in the smartest possibly way. I can’t imagine a better Mexico City guide for these times.” —Tony Cohan, author of Mexican Days and On Mexican Time

“Johnston is the friend you wish you had in every great city, toting you from palace to museum to park but never missing the exquisite pastelería, the grand hotel lobby or the clean public bathroom.” —San Francisco Chronicle

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By Jim Johnston
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In 2000, Mexico’s long invincible Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) lost the presidential election to Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN). The ensuing changeover—after 71 years of PRI dominance—was hailed as the beginning of a new era of hope for Mexico.

Yet the promises of the PAN victory were not consolidated. In this vivid account of Mexico’s recent history, a journalist with extensive reporting experience investigates the nation’s young democracy, its shortcomings and achievements, and why the PRI is favored to retake the presidency in 2012.

Jo Tuckman reports on the murky, terrifying world of Mexico’s drug wars, the counterproductive government strategy, and the impact of U.S. policies. She describes the reluctance and inability of politicians to seriously tackle rampant corruption, environmental degradation, pervasive poverty, and acute inequality.

To make matters worse, the influence of non-elected interest groups has grown and public trust in almost all institutions—including the Catholic church—is fading. The pressure valve once presented by emigration is also closing.

Even so, there are positive signs: the critical media cannot be easily controlled, and small but determined citizen groups notch up significant, if partial, victories for accountability.

While Mexico faces complex challenges that can often seem insurmountable, Tuckman concludes, the unflagging vitality and imagination of many in Mexico inspire hope for a better future.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Jo Tuckman
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This is one of the best books available about life for both expat residents and natives in villages and cities across Mexico. What sets it apart from most other books about living in Mexico is that it’s a literary collection of short stories and essays, full of insights by contemporary authors who write and live full time in Mexico or who have spent a lot of time living in the country.

The superb collection contains twenty two works, all but five from authors who live full time in the country. Their writing spans a variety of topics; many contributions extol life in Mexico’s abundant sunlight while others examine what the shadows sometimes obscure.

It’s a sampler of sorts, with active hyperlinks for more information about the authors and their other writing.

The anthology contains complete chapters from books and also single pieces from internationally-acclaimed authors and emerging writers: Bruce Berger, E.G. Brady, Ann Hazard, Michael Hogan, Jim Johnston, William Kaliher, Janice Kimball, Judy King, Jeanine Kitchel, David Lida, C.M. Mayo, Carol M. Merchasin, Mikel Miller, Katie O’Grady, Antonio Rambles, Daniel Reveles, Robert Richter, Lin Robinson & Ana Maria Corona, John Scherber, Jennifer Stace, James Tipton, and Candelora Versace.

Perhaps the best way to gain valuable insights about the day-to-day life of people in a foreign country is to read good books by authors living and/or writing in that country. The purpose of this book is to identify several writers who can help readers accomplish this for Mexico.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Michael Hogan
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What if you could reinvent yourself at any age? You don’t have to go back to school, and it doesn’t require a religious conversion.

Many people — hundreds of thousands — have used nothing more than geography and an open mind to bring it off. What do the terms Living Abroad, Living in Mexico, and Expatriate really mean?If you think it might be time to take a harder look, use this book to explore the possibilities of an exciting new life in Mexico.

Live their experiences as 32 people confess why they left the United States and reveal how their new life is more fulfilling than they ever dreamed.

The author gives you an intimate glimpse into the lives of people who have lived in San Miguel de Allende for as little as 18 days and as long as 50 years. They talk candidly about why they came, what obstacles they found in their path, how it changed their lives. What were the unexpected benefits? Does it work for everyone? What happens when it doesn’t?

How else would you meet these people? This book is like sitting down for a heart-to-heart conversation with people who made it happen.

“An attentive and richly interesting series of interviews with North Americans who have made lives for themselves in another country, another town.” -Tony Cohan, author of On Mexican Time and Mexican Days, other books and numerous articles.

“San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart is entertaining, enlightening, and informative. Like the legendary Studs Terkel, John Scherber lets his subjects speak for themselves and adds reflections where needed.” -Wayne Greenhaw, winner of the 2006 Harper Lee Award, author of My Heart is in the Earth, and more than a dozen other books.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By John Scherber
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Tacopedia is an encyclopaedic tribute to the vibrancy of Mexican taco culture. Explore one of Mexico’s most popular culinary traditions through 100 recipes accompanied by interviews, street and food photography, illustrations, graphics, and maps that bring the full story behind each taco to life.

Tacopedia’s highly graphic style will appeal to hip taco lovers, food truck enthusiasts, and serious followers of Mexican cuisine, both young, and young at heart.

Features:
– Forward by internationally renowned chef René Redzepi.
– 100 authentic recipes adapted from the Mexican best-seller from fillings and tortillas to salsas and sauces.
– Illustrated with 250 photographs, and accompanied by interviews, stories, illustrations, graphics, maps, and more that bring the vibrancy of the taco, and its homeland, to life.

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By Deborah Holtz, Juan Carlos Mena, René Redzepi
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On the eve of the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, a group of recently arrived Irish immigrants deserted the U.S. army and joined the Mexican army as the Saint Patrick’s Battalion.

This excellent study explores the motivations of the Irishmen, their valiant contributions to the Mexican cause, and the consequences for them when they were ultimately captured.

While investigating this, the book asks new questions about Manifest Destiny, anti-Catholicism in the U.S., imperialism and political and cultural dissent.

More than a reevaluation of a little-known secret of one of the Northern Hemisphere least-studied wars, it is a compelling narrative of sacrifice and honor.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Michael Hogan
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Octavio Paz has long been acknowledged as Mexico’s foremost writer and critic. In this international classic, Paz has written one of the most enduring and powerful works ever created on Mexico and its people, character, and culture.

Compared to Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses for its trenchant analysis, this collection contains his most famous work, “The Labyrinth of Solitude,” a beautifully written and deeply felt discourse on Mexico’s quest for identity that gives us an unequalled look at the country hidden behind “the mask.”

Also included are “The Other Mexico,” “Return to the Labyrinth of Solitude,” “Mexico and the United States,” and “The Philanthropic Ogre,” all of which develop the themes of the title essay and extend his penetrating commentary to the United States and Latin America.

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Reviews courtesy Goodreads
By Octavio Paz
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The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 with the overthrow of dictator Porfirio Díaz.

The Wind That Swept Mexico, originally published in 1943, was the first book to present a broad account of that revolution in its several different phases. In concise but moving words and in memorable photographs, this classic sweeps the reader along from the false peace and plenty of the Díaz era through the doomed administration of Madero, the chaotic years of Villa and Zapata, Carranza and Obregón, to the peaceful social revolution of Cárdenas and Mexico’s entry into World War II.

The photographs were assembled from many sources by George R. Leighton with the assistance of Anita Brenner and others. Many of the prints were cleaned and rephotographed by the distinguished photographer Walker Evans.

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By Anita Brenner
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