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The Essentials

William H. Beezley and Colin M. MacLachlan

Publication Date - October 2015

ISBN: 9780195387186

240 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $29.99

A topically organized, concise introduction to the history and culture of Mexico


Mexico: The Essentials provides a concise introduction to Mexican history and culture built on ten fundamental aspects of Mexican life. Featuring a topical organization, the book offers readers easy access to these major themes--the "essentials"--that shape the nation and society: physical and living diversity, politics, family, economy, religion, Mexico City, popular arts, drugs and crimes, migration, and Mexico in global perspective. Authors William H. Beezley and Colin M. MacLachlan weave together each narrative with material from cultural investigations, ethnic and gender studies, and new sources--including visual and material evidence--to enrich and deepen students' understanding and appreciation of the Mexican past. Each of the essays is written from a historical perspective and begins with a brief section describing the colonial legacy.

About the Author(s)

William H. Beezley is Professor of History at the University of Arizona. He is the author of several books, including The Oxford History of Mexico (OUP, 2000).

Colin M. MacLachlan is John Christie Barr Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Tulane University. His most recent book is Imperialism and the Origins of Mexican Culture (2015).


"Beezley and MacLachlan, two leading historians of Mexico, have collaborated again on a unique interpretation of Mexican history defined in the broadest terms. Mexico--The Essentials ranges from the diversity of place, plants, and cultures, to the contemporary influence of Mexican cuisine in the United States. Even Mexicanists will encounter stimulating, fresh 'facts' about all aspects of their specialty. It is a diverse and thought-provoking introduction that will appeal to students and general readers."--Roderic Ai Camp, Claremont McKenna College

"Concise, readable, and engaging, Mexico--The Essentials is the perfect introduction to a dauntingly complex, notoriously diverse, and endlessly fascinating country. With chapters that range from such traditional topics as politics, economics, society, religion, and culture to contemporary issues like drugs, crime, and migration, this book provides a refreshingly eclectic take on 'the essentials.' Beezley and MacLachlin's lively introduction to Mexico is essential reading for novices and specialists alike."--Robert M. Buffington, University of Colorado Boulder

Table of Contents

    1. Diversity: "More Kinds of Corn than One Can Count; More Volcanoes than One Can Name"
    2. Politics: Independence to the Present
    3. Religion
    4. Economy: The Asymmetry of Wealth and Resources
    5. Family: A Pillar of Society
    6. Mexico City
    7. Popular Art: The Cultural Optic
    8. Drugs and Crimes
    9. Migration Realities: Crossing the Border
    10. Afterword: Mexicans in the Global Village
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