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Writer, Professor, Revolutionary.

Mexico's Hope: An Encounter With Politics and History

MEXICO’S HOPE: AN ENCOUNTER WITH POLITICS AND HISTORY. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1999. 435 pages; tables, notes; index; Spanish-language edition, Mexico: Siglo veintiuno editores, 2001. Some review excerpts:

“[Cockcroft’s] profound ability to link social struggles to historical process…. expertly blends analysis of political economy with discussion of class struggle and popular resistance. Through this blending, Cockcroft deftly [provides]…an analysis of how Mexico’s uneven development has impacted and shaped society with regards to class, race, and gender. Cockcroft’s historical analysis is…cogent and nuanced…making this an interpretive history that will be consulted by students, scholars, and activists for years to come.”

“...tells the dramatic story of the making of modern Mexico. In the course of providing compelling analysis of the causes for the vast divide between Mexico's rich and poor, James Cockcroft illuminates the stark contrast between the country's corrupt political system and its people's democratic aspirations…. particular attention to the contributions of women, Native Americans, workers, and peasants…. recommended reading for anyone wanting a succinct and articulate overview of contemporary Mexican politics and economic development.”

“The political-economic, indigenous and women's viewpoints are not just juxtaposed, they are analytically integrated in a vigorous prose. Clearly and forcefully written, accompanied by 17 tables, and with extensive notes, Cockcroft’s ‘Mexico’s Hope’ represents the most forceful analysis, and at the same time the most sophisticated and subtle general history of Mexico available…. Cockcroft has written a multicultural and gendered history of Mexico which responds to the contemporary problematic…. comprehensive and compelling synthesis…. incorporates not only recent scholarship, but also reflects the impact of new social movements…. above all, this book is a good read…. ‘Mexico’s Hope’ will no doubt become a standard in Latin American and Mexican history courses, but labor unionists, human rights workers, social movement activists, and anyone interested in our nearest neighbor should buy and read this book. University, high school and public libraries should add this book to their collections, for it will find many readers.”

“The stunning defeat of the governing party in the elections of July 2000…confirms his main contention: the old system, stable for so many decades, cannot endure unchanged. Mexico’s hope is that previously excluded groups will be able to demand and receive greater social justice. Cockcroft focuses on structural changes rather than the more dramatic, and more ephemeral, political events that are the stuff of conventional histories…. This social history is an impressive literary as well as scholarly work. James Cockcroft, author of many important books on Mexico and Latin America, has managed here to organize complex and seemingly unconnected events stretching over six centuries into an especially compelling narrative of the still unresolved struggle for control of the country’s wealth and destiny.”