Explicitly focusing on the malaise of underdevelopment that has shaped the country since the Spanish conquest, Ramón Eduardo Ruiz offers a panoramic interpretation of Mexican history and culture from the pre-Hispanic and colonial eras through the twentieth century. Drawing on economics, psychology, literature, film, and history, he reveals how development processes have fostered glaring inequalities, uncovers the fundamental role of race and class in perpetuating poverty, and sheds new light on the contemporary Mexican reality. Throughout, Ruiz traces a legacy of dependency on outsiders, and considers the weighty role the United States has played, starting with an unjust war that cost Mexico half its territory. Based on Ruiz’s decades of research and travel in Mexico, this penetrating work helps us better understand where the country has come, why it is where it is today, and where it might go in the future.
Ramón Eduardo Ruiz (1921–2010) was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, San Diego. He was author of many books, including Triumphs and Tragedy: A History of the Mexican People, Memories of a Hyphenated Man, and On the Rim of Mexico: Encounters of the Rich and Poor.
“Impassioned and stimulating.”—Survival
"Professor Ramón Eduardo Ruiz has dedicated his career to unlocking the historical reasons for the rebelliousness of Mexican society and its failures to achieve great goals behind those bursts of collective energy and idealism. This book is a culmination of rigorous scholarship and a moral commitment to confronting all aspects of the Mexican people. There is also an element of hope in these pages that Mexico will become a prosperous, just and viable society."—Lorenzo Meyer, El Colegio de México
, Ramón Eduardo Ruiz brings a lifetime of study and a passionate love of his subject to bear on the most vexing puzzle any historian of Mexico can confront: Why should a country so rich in potential remain perennially mired in poverty, corruption, and injustice? This is a bold, angry, and absolutely indispensable book."—Timothy J. Henderson, author of The Mexican Wars for Independence
Outstanding Academic Title, Choice, a publication of the American Library Association