Description : Stories of life in modern Mexico reveals the spirit, drama, and humor of surviving daily life in and around Mexico's system of political, economic, and social organizations.
Description : Since the late 1970s, a new folk hero has risen to prominence in the U.S.-Mexico border region and beyond—the narcotrafficker. Celebrated in the narcocorrido, a current form of the traditional border song known as the corrido, narcotraffickers are often portrayed as larger-than-life "social bandits" who rise from poor or marginalized backgrounds to positions of power and wealth by operating outside the law and by living a life of excess, challenging authority (whether U.S. or Mexican), and flouting all risks, including death. This image, rooted in Mexican history, has been transformed and commodified by the music industry and by the drug trafficking industry itself into a potent and highly marketable product that has a broad appeal, particularly among those experiencing poverty and power disparities. At the same time, the transformation from folk hero to marketable product raises serious questions about characterizations of narcocorridos as "narratives of resistance." This multilayered ethnography takes a wide-ranging look at the persona of the narcotrafficker and how it has been shaped by Mexican border culture, socioeconomic and power disparities, and the transnational music industry. Mark Edberg begins by analyzing how the narcocorrido emerged from and relates to the traditional corrido and its folk hero. Then, drawing upon interviews and participant-observation with corrido listening audiences in the border zone, as well as musicians and industry producers of narcocorridos, he elucidates how the persona of the narcotrafficker has been created, commodified, and enacted, and why this character resonates so strongly with people who are excluded from traditional power structures. Finally, he takes a look at the concept of the cultural persona itself and its role as both cultural representation and model for practice.
Description : Stemming from an interdisciplinary conference sponsored by Culture Club: The Cultural Studies Scholars’ Association that included scholars from various disciplines and from around the world, this volume collects the work of graduate students and junior faculty which all examine the meaning of cultural scholarship in an ever-changing and increasingly global milieu. These voices, which often become marginalized and go unheard, represent what we see as the futures of interdisciplinary academic work in the humanities. The conference and this book are opportunities for scholars of diverse backgrounds and disciplines to come together and engage in a real dialogue with one another. Bringing disparate thoughts on politics, film, television, history, policy, and literature together counters the pressures pushing individuals to take political, religious, scholarly, and ideological sides. Through the efforts represented here, we gain a distanced, yet engaged, view on the many threads that bind us together and the forces that seek to separate us. Looking at this volume, the reader encounters many different approaches, from critical analysis of individual texts to autoethnography. The contributors and compilers of this book do not place these in separate sections or in any hierarchy but rather wish that all of these appear on an equally vital level that displays the ways in which each of the subjects and approaches might open up a piece of culture in a way that draws attention to the connections between them all.
Description : As the United States hardens its border with Mexico, how do migrants make transnational claims of citizenship in both nation-states? By enacting citizenship in both countries, Mexican migrants are challenging the meaning of membership and belonging from the margins of both citizenship regimes. With their incessant border-shattering political practices, Mexican migrants have become the embodiment of transnational citizenship on both sides of the divide. Drawing on his experiences leading citizenship classes for Mexican migrants and working with cross-border activists, Adrián Félix examines the political lives (and deaths) of Mexican migrants in Specters of Belonging. Tracing transnationalism across the different stages of the migrant political life cycle - beginning with the so-called political baptism of naturalization and ending with the practice by which migrant bodies are repatriated to Mexico for burial after death - Félix reveals the varied ways in which Mexican transnational subjects practice citizenship in the United States as well as Mexico. As such, Félix unearths how Mexican migrants' specters of belonging perennially haunt the political projects of nationalism, citizenship, and democracy on both sides of the border.
Description : "In addition to Anglo-American authors, the anthology includes selections by German, French, Norwegian, and Spanish authors. Just over a third of the pieces are by women, who offer glimpses of private worlds closed to men, such as convent life, relations between women and their servants, and household affairs."--BOOK JACKET.
Description : Few Mexican musicians in the twentieth century achieved as much notoriety or had such an international impact as the popular singer and songwriter Agustín Lara (1897-1970). Widely known as "el flaco de oro" ("the Golden Skinny"), this remarkably thin fellow was prolific across the genres of bolero, ballad, and folk. His most beloved "Granada", a song so enduring that it has been covered by the likes of Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra, and Placido Domingo, is today a standard in the vocal repertory. However, there exists very little biographical literature on Lara in English. In Agustín Lara: A Cultural Biography, author Andrew Wood's informed and informative placement of Lara's work in a broader cultural context presents a rich and comprehensive reading of the life of this significant musical figure. Lara's career as a media celebrity as well as musician provides an excellent window on Mexican society in the mid-twentieth century and on popular culture in Latin America. Wood also delves into Lara's music itself, bringing to light how the composer's work unites a number of important currents in Latin music of his day, particularly the bolero. With close musicological focus and in-depth cultural analysis riding alongside the biographical narrative, Agustin Lara: A Cultural Biography is a welcome read to aficionados and performers of Latin American musics, as well as a valuable addition to the study of modern Mexican music and Latin American popular culture as a whole.
Description : Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction Named on Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the Year--Slate.com's 10 Best Books of 2015--Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015--Seattle Times' Best Books of 2015--Boston Globe's Best Books of 2015--St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Books of 2015--The Guardian's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015--Texas Observer's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America. In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico. Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents--Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.
Description : A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion. At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie. A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky. Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.