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Robert Joe Stout, "The Blood of the Serpent: Mexican Lives"

Posted By: Alexpal

Robert Joe Stout, "The Blood of the Serpent: Mexican Lives"
Algora Publishing | ISBN 0875862152 | 2003 Year | PDF | 1,4 Mb | 312 Pages


This engaging and passionate book meanders through journalism, history and autobiography. It is an anthology of conversations the author, who has written for the Christian Science Monitor and other publications, has had throughout Mexico over the past 40 years, grouped together by geography. Starting in Mexico City, the "urban core" of the country, he moves north to border towns dominated by their economic and migratory relationship with the United States and concludes in the highlands of the south, where expanding Mexican power confronts increasingly displaced indigenous peoples. The stories told by government officials, farmers, hustlers, cripples, migrant laborers, children, street vendors, teachers, university students, social activists, union organizers, oil prospectors, loggers, traditional healers, refugees and truck drivers give the book a rich chorus of voices, which produce not a song but an energetic discussion and argument about the soul of Mexico. Interspersed between these extended quotations are Stout's accounts of how he came to meet these people (often on the street with the conversation continuing at the local cantina) as well as discussions of the larger social context behind their remarks. He pays particular attention to the plight of those who have been pushed from farms, villages and forests into cities and slums by business development and political corruption, and is clearly charmed by the spirited reaction of ordinary people to forces beyond their control. His fascination and frustration with Mexican society will no doubt rub off on any curious reader.