Fragments of a Golden Age

9780822327073: Hardback
Release Date: 29th June 2001

9780822327189: Paperback
Release Date: 29th June 2001

54 photographs, 1 figure

Dimensions: 159 x 241

Number of Pages: 528

Series American Encounters/Global Interactions

Duke University Press Books

Fragments of a Golden Age

The Politics of Culture in Mexico Since 1940

Hardback / £99.00
Paperback / £25.99

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 Mexico that emerged after 1940. 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, 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 modernization 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,” professional 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 modernization.

Contributors. Steven J. Bachelor, Quetzil E. Castañeda, Seth Fein, Alison Greene, Omar Hernández, Jis & Trino, Gilbert M. Joseph, Heather Levi, Rubén Martínez, Emile McAnany, John Mraz, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Elena Poniatowska, Anne Rubenstein, Alex Saragoza, Arthur Schmidt, Mary Kay Vaughan, Eric Zolov

List of Illustrations
Foreword / Elena Poniatowska
I. Reclaiming the History of Postrevolutionary Mexico
Assembling the Fragments: Writing a Cultural History of Mexico Since 1940 / Gilbert M. Joseph, Anne Rubenstein, and Eric Zolov
Making It Real Compared to What? Reconceptualizing Mexican History Since 1940 / Arthur Schmidt
II. At Play Amongst the Fragments
Mexico’s Pepsi Challenge: Traditional Cooking, Mass Consumption, and National Identity / Jeffrey M. Pilcher
The Selling of Mexico: Tourism and the State, 1929–1952 / Alex Saragoza
Today, Tomorrow, and Always: The Golden Age of Illustrated Magazines in Mexico, 1937–1960 / John Mraz
Myths of Cultural Imperialism and Nationalism in Golden Age Mexican Cinema / Seth Fein
Bodies, Cities, Cinema: Pedro Infante’s Death as Political Spectacle / Anne Rubenstein
Discovering a Land “Mysterious and Obvious”: The Renarrativizing of Postrevolutionary Mexico / Eric Zolov
Toiling for the “New Invaders”: Autoworkers, Transnational Corporations, and Working-Class Culture in Mexico City, 1955–1968 / Steven J. Bachelor
El Santos and the Return of the Killer Aztecs! / Jis y Trino
Masked Media: The Adventures of Lucha Libre on the Small Screen / Heather Levi
Corazón del Rocanrol / Rubén Martínez
Cultural Industries in the Free Trade Age: A Look at Mexican Television / Omar Hernández and Emile McAnany
Cablevision(nation) and Rural Yucatán: Performing Modernity and Mexicanidad in the Early 1990s / Alison Greene
The Aura of Ruins / Quetzil E. Castaneda
III. Final Reflections
Transnational Processes and the Rise and Fall of the Mexican Cultural State: Notes from the Past / Mary Kay Vaughan

Gilbert M. Joseph is Farnam Professor of History at Yale University and the coeditor of Everyday Forms of State Formation: Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico and Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.–Latin American Relations, both published by Duke University Press.

Anne Rubenstein is Associate Professor of History, York University, Toronto and author of Bad Language, Naked Ladies, and Other Threats to the Nation, also published by Duke University Press.

Eric Zolov is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York, Stony Brook and the author of Refried Elvis: the Rise of the Mexican Counterculture and coeditor of Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History.

“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

“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