Cover image for The human tradition in Mexico
The human tradition in Mexico
Pilcher, Jeffrey M., 1965-
Publication Information:
Wilmington, DE : SR Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 242 pages ; 23 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1226 .H85 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Human Tradition in Mexico is a book of real-life stories of Mexicans throughout more than 250 years of the country's history. This text does not focus on presidents, generals, and other well-known figures, but rather on the ordinary individuals who faced challenges common to all Mexicans of their generation. Editor Jeffrey M. Pilcher uses these vignettes to explore three significant themes: nationalism and globalization, modernization and its effects on ordinary people, and the struggle for the self. Exploring these pivotal topics, this book personalizes abstract, and sometimes baffling, generalizations on social history by providing fascinating and accessible mini-biographies that will appeal to undergraduate students. In The Human Tradition in Mexico, readers will explore the story of a Mexican Romeo and Juliet, gain insight into the Mexican version of Woodstock, learn to make a fine, aged tequila, and meet the 'apostle of the enchilada.' These essays, written by a talented group of specialists, will show how each individual contributed to the forging of the Mexican identity as the country went from a struggling new nation to a modern republic trying to find its place in an increasingly globalized culture. This book will enlighten and entertain readers with its colorful and engaging narratives of Mexicans throughout the country's rich past.

Author Notes

Jeffrey M. Pilcher is professor of history at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

What a delightful collection of well-honed essays! These 15 biographical sketches organized around key stations on the Mexico City metro system include no top-level political or military leaders; most subjects are prominent members of the evolving society from the early movements for independence to the present. The subjects of the essays range from the brilliant and erratic apostle of independence, Fray Servando Teresa do Mier, to former circus performer Princess Agnes Salm-Salm (who pleaded with Benito Juarez to spare the life of Emperor Maximilian) and cinema star Maria Felix, whose turbulent marriage to composer Agustin Lara rivaled the magic of her moments on the silver screen for public attention. There is also an entertaining sketch of the career of Josefina Velazquez de Leon, whose magic recipes revolutionized the presentation and acceptance of Mexican cooking. The only truly obscure subjects are Pedro and Enriqueta, young lovers in early-20th-century Chihuahua whose letters provide an intriguing glimpse into the society that produced their troubled courtship and tragic murder-suicide. Taken as a whole, the sketches provide a unique and very human insight into the complex nature of Mexican history and culture and will be useful as special reading assignments in both undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with Mexico. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels and collections. E. H. Moseley emeritus, University of Alabama

Table of Contents

Jeffrey M. PilcherLinda A. Curcio-NagyKaren RacinePedro SantoniDavid Coffey and Eugenia Roldan VeraPatrick J. McNamaraGlen David KueckerSusie S. PorterWilliam E. FrenchSarah A. BuckAnne RubensteinEnrique C. OchoaAndrew G. WoodJeffrey M. PilcherEric ZolovJose Orozco
Introduction: A Map of the Systemp. xiii
I Independent Spirits, 1750-1850p. 1
1 Josefa Ordonez: The Scandalous Adventures of a Colonial Courtesanp. 5
2 Fray Servando Teresa de Mier: Anahuac's Angry Apostlep. 23
3 Lucas Balderas: Popular Leader and Patriotp. 41
II Heirs of the Reforma, 1850-1910p. 57
4 Agnes Salm-Salm: An American Princess in Maximilian's Mexicop. 61
5 Felipe Garcia and the Real Heroes of Guelataop. 75
6 Alejandro Prieto: Cientifico from the Provincesp. 91
7 Juana Belen Gutierrez de Mendoza: Woman of Words, Woman of Actionsp. 103
III Revolutionary Generations, 1910-1940p. 119
8 "Te Amo Muncho": The Love Letters of Pedro and Enriquetap. 123
9 Rosa Torre Gonzalez: Soldadera and Feministp. 137
10 Nahui Olin: The General's Daughter Disrobesp. 149
11 Lic. Moises T. de la Pena: The Economist on Horsebackp. 165
IV Mexicans in the Global Village, 1940 to the Presentp. 181
12 Maria Felix and Agustin Lara: A Public Romancep. 185
13 Josefina Velazquez de Leon: Apostle of the Enchiladap. 199
14 Armando Nava and Los Dug Dug's: Rock Musiciansp. 211
15 Gabriel Espindola Martinez: Tequila Masterp. 225
Indexp. 235