Mexicans have long dreamt of the First World, and in recent times it has landed with a thud. Under the guise of globalization, Mexico opened its borders, reformed its political system, and transformed its economy. The impacts have been paradoxical.
In First World Dreams Alexander Dawson explores the contradictions and challenges which Mexico has experienced in embracing the market so wholeheartedly. A vibrant civil society is marred by human rights abuses and violent rebellion. Market reforms have produced a stable economy, economic growth and great fortunes, while devastating much of the countryside and crippling domestic producers. Mexico is today one of the world's largest exporting nations, yet has a perpetually negative trade balance. It is in a constant state of becoming a democracy, a nation where human rights are respected, a modern industrial nation, and a more violent, fragmented place where the chasms of wealth and poverty threaten to undo the dreams of modernity.
ALEXANDER DAWSON teaches history at Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia, Canada. He has been visiting Mexico for 15 years, witnessing the effects of globalization first hand. He is the author of Indian and Nation in Revolutionary Mexico (Arizona UP, 2004). The series editor is NICHOLAS GUYATT.