Fuentes's bold and timely study discusses the origins and nature of the tumultuous events that have recently transformed Mexican politics and society. The rebellion in Chiapas, a rash of assassinations, the break between Presidents Salinas and Zedillo, the continual struggle for democratic self-rule: These and other developments are addressed by one of Mexico's wisest, most influential commentators.
This collection of essays by Carlos Fuentes, Mexican intellectual, man of letters, and erstwhile diplomat, seeks to place his country's current convulsive state in a wider historical perspective. He discusses the Mexican Revolution of 1910 as a liberating moment, counterbalanced by a tendency toward a centralized authoritarianism that created the monolithic ruling party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI. Fuentes considers that the PRI was a progressive force originally, but that it became corrupted by the Mexican ruling class' elevation of Anglo-American forms of government, and the application of "savage capitalism" to the detriment of the Mexican people. Fuentes also talks about recent events, including the assassination of his friend, Luis Donaldo Colosio, the PRI presidential candidate, and he includes an exchange with Subcommander Marcos, the Zapatista leader.