"This marvelous book is an antidote to a generation's worth of simplifications, romantizations, and folklorizations of Mexican culture. Throughout the book the authors always take the close view, so that we become intimate with the unfolding complexities and contradictions of Mexican culture, rather than being intimidated by them. By the end, we have come to understand Mexican culture as politics, politics as art, and art as only one of the multiple acts of creation Mexicans engage in daily to interpret, embellish, and survive their own lives. This is scholarship at its best."- Alma Guillermoprieto "This innovative and important book is one of the first to focus on the history of Mexico since 1940. A pioneering volume of cultural studies that will show the field how far we have come."- John Tutino, Georgetown University "Combining innovative cultural and transnational theory with traditional political analysis, this important book represents a new direction in Mexican historiography in the United States... The rich, delightful, and distinctly cool cultural tidbits that tumble from this academic pinata will, one hopes, soon become the building blocks of a new history of postrevolutionary Mexico's golden age." Adrian A. Bantjes, Hispanic American Historical Review "This volume is an excellent example of the new cultural history, the history of the production and reproduction of socially constituted meanings, or how people make sense of themselves and the world... [I]nteresting, straightforward, and readable analyzes and explanations of past worlds that demonstrate excellent research and make sense even to me." Thomas Benjamin, The Americas "Fragments of a Golden Age contributes tremendously to this important new field of study..." Esther Gabara, Nepantla "Scholars and students seeking a broader conceptual framework for understanding the dynamics of postrevolutionary Mexico-indeed, anyone interested in contemporary Latin American history and culture in general-will find this book an innovative and stimulating point of departure." Michael M. Smith, New Mexico Historical Review "This collection of well-written, creative and methodologically diverse essays on the politics of culture in Mexico since 1940 establishes a high standard for scholarship on this understudied period... The strength of this volume is its eclecticism... [A]s the best of these essays demonstrate, popular culture is a constitutive part of institutional politics and economics, not a superstructural reflection. We owe a collective debt of gratitude to these authors for introducing us to the fabulously rich and exciting world of popular culture that so few historians dare to enter." Elliott Young, The Historian "This is a pathbreaking contribution to the history of modern Mexico... This book will play an important role in orienting a new generation of scholars." Samuel Brunk, American Historical ReviewFrom the Publisher:
During the twentieth century the Mexican government invested in the creation and promotion of a national culture more aggressively than any other state in the western hemisphere. Fragments of a Golden Age provides a comprehensive cultural history of the vibrant, post-1940 Mexico that emerged. Agreeing that the politics of culture and its production, dissemination, and reception constitute one of the keys to understanding this period of Mexican history, the volume's contributors - historians, popular writers, anthropologists, graphic artists, and cultural critics - weigh in on a wealth of topics from music, tourism, television, and sports to theatre, unions, art, and magazines. Each essay in its own way addresses the fragmentation of a cultural consensus that prevailed during the "golden age" of post-revolutionary prosperity, a time when the state was still successfully bolstering its power with narratives of modernisation and shared community. Combining detailed case studies-both urban and rural-with larger discussions of political, economic, and cultural phenomena, the contributors take on such topics as the golden age of Mexican cinema, the death of Pedro Infante as a political spectacle, the 1951 "caravan of hunger," wrestling, rock music, and soap operas. Fragments of a Golden Age will fill a particular gap for students of modern Mexico, Latin American studies, cultural studies, political economy, and twentieth century history, as well as to others concerned with rethinking the cultural dimensions of nationalism, imperialism, and modernisation.
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