Manana Forever? by Jorge G. Castaneda

64%

9 Critic Reviews

The most confounding term Castañeda applies to the Mexican is "individualism."
-San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis

Why are Mexicans so successful in individual sports, but deficient in team play? Why do Mexicans dislike living in skyscrapers? Why do Mexicans love to see themselves as victims, but also love victims? And why, though the Mexican people traditionally avoid conflict, is there so much violence in a country where many leaders have died by assassination?

In this shrewd and fascinating book, the renowned scholar and former foreign minister Jorge Castañeda sheds much light on the puzzling paradoxes of his native country. Here’s a nation of 110 million that has an ambivalent and complicated relationship with the United States yet is host to more American expatriates than any country in the world. Its people tend to resent foreigners yet have made the nation a hugely popular tourist destination. Mexican individualism and individual ties to the land reflect a desire to conserve the past and slow the route to uncertain modernity.

Castañeda examines the future possibilities for Mexico as it becomes more diverse in its regional identities, socially more homogenous, its character and culture the instruments of change rather than sources of stagnation, its political system more open and democratic. Mañana Forever? is a compelling portrait of a nation at a crossroads.
 

About Jorge G. Castaneda

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Jorge G. Castañeda was born and raised in Mexico City. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Paris. He has been a professor of political science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and a visiting professor at Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley. He was Mexico's foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, and is now Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies at New York University. He is a member of the board of Human Rights Watch and lives in New York and Mexico City.
 
Published May 17, 2011 by Vintage. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Manana Forever?
All: 9 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Apr 15 2011

An informed, persuasive analysis of the attitudinal adjustments and concrete changes required for Mexico to thrive in the 21st century.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Alexandra Starr on Jun 24 2011

Castañeda presents an impassioned and erudite case for a rethinking of old Mexican habits.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Reed Johnson on Jun 19 2011

The book's tough-love tone is supported by Castañeda's precise, systematic mustering of hard facts from scholarly studies, public opinion surveys and the like.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Manuel Roig-Franzia on Jun 24 2011

. . . he fails to explain satisfactorily why supposedly conflict-averse Mexicans so frequently resort to the ultimate kind of conflict: chopping off a head or putting a bullet in it.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Richard Rodriguez on May 29 2011

The most confounding term Castañeda applies to the Mexican is "individualism."

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Foreign Affairs

Excellent
Reviewed by Richard Feinberg

Although not all readers will accept Castañeda’s core thesis. . .Mañana Forever is brimming with lively observations on all things Mexico.

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The Nation

Excellent
Reviewed by Natasha Wimmer on Aug 30 2011

. . .despite its weaknesses Mañana Forever? deserves. . .prompt serious debate.

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The Brooklyn Rail

Below average
Reviewed by Andrew Wood

In whining about the “lack of modernity” among the Mexican popular classes, Castañeda goes seriously astray.

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The Coast

Below average
Reviewed by John Delaney on Oct 13 2011

Castaneda’s insights into native Mexican insularity and paranoia enlighten--- sometimes brilliantly. Otherwise, take two aspirin.

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80%

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