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Bordering on Chaos: Mexico's Roller-Coaster Journey Toward Prosperity
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316650250, Paperback)This is an attempt to understand Mexico's steep descent into turmoil, which happened rapidly after the uprising in Chiapas on New Year's Day 1994. Following the assassinations of a presidential candidate and then the congressional leader, President Carlos Salinas de Gortari had barely left office when the peso collapsed. Pursued by allegations of corruption, Salinas then fled the country. Oppenheimer, a reporter for The Miami Herald, argues that the crisis is the result of nothing grander than a turf war within a decrepit ruling party and that the Chiapas uprising is not something new, just another eruption of the Marxist intellectualism that has long flourished in Latin America.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:33 -0400)
Written as a fast-paced narrative, with exclusive interviews from key players - including President Zedillo, former president Salinas, and Subcommander Marcos, the Zapatista guerrilla leader - Bordering on Chaos gives us the inside story of the dramatic events that have shaken Mexico in recent years. From the behind-the-scenes maneuvering on NAFTA to why Clinton fought for a $50 billion Mexican bailout, Bordering on Chaos delivers revelation after revelation: the Mexican government's secret payments to the media and opposition parties; how, when he was a child, Salinas accidentally killed a twelve-year-old maid, and how the story was suppressed; and how President Zedillo may have obscured key parts of his own history. Oppenheimer tells the real story of how Zedillo won the elections, and details a never-disclosed meeting between Salinas and Zedillo in 1995, at which they established the terms of Salinas's voluntary exile.Beyond insights into Mexico's most recent crises, Bordering on Chaos takes a broader look into the country's past and future. Based on secret polls from Mexico's three largest political parties and in-depth interviews with intellectuals such as Nobel laureate Octavio Paz, Oppenheimer shows that Mexico is much more pro-American than generally believed, and suggests that the ruling elite has long used a warped version of Mexico's nationalism to negotiate with Washington. But Oppenheimer sees amid the decay the seeds of a modern democracy in little-noticed phenomena, such as the growing political and economic influence of Mexico's northern states and the emergence of an increasingly vocal civic society.
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