Visiones de Frontera:Las Culturas Mexicanas del Suroeste de Estados Unidos

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Author: Velez-Ibanez, Carlos G (1936- )

Year: 1999

Publisher: Miguel Angel Porrua

Place: Mexico City


374 pages with charts, tables, plates, maps and bibliography. Octavo (9" x6 3/4") bound in original publisher's pictorial wrappers. Prolog by Carlos Monsivais. Translated by Katia Rheault. First Spanish edition limited to 1000 copies, published in English by the University of Arizona same year.

The U.S.-Mexico border region is home to anthropologist Carlos Velez-Ibanez. Into these pages he pours nearly half a century of searching and finding answers to the Mexican experience in the southwestern United States. He describes and analyzes the process, as generation upon generation of Mexicans moved north and attempted to create an identity or "sense of cultural space and place". In today's border fences he also sees barriers to how Mexicans understand themselves and how they are fundamentally understood. From prehistory to the present, Velez-Ibanez traces the intense "bumping" among Native Americans, Spaniards, and Mexicans, as Mesoamerican population and ideas moved northward. He demonstrates how "cultural glue" is constantly replenished through strong family ties that reach across both sides of the border. The author describes ways in which Mexicans have resisted and accommodated the dominant culture by creating communities and by forming labor unions, voluntary associations, and cultural movements. He analyzes "the distribution of sadness", or over represenation of Mexicans in poverty, crime, illness, and war, and shows how that sadness is balanced by creative expressions of literature and art, especially mural art, in the ongoing search for space and place. Here is a book for the nineties and beyond, a book the relates to NAFTA, to complex questions of immigration, and to the expanding population of Mexicans in the U.S.-Mexico border region and other parts of the country. An important new volume for social science, humanities, and Latin American scholars, Border Visions will also attract general readers for its robust narrative and autobiographical edge. For all readers, the book points to new ways of seeing borders, whether they are visible walls of brick and stone or less visible, infinitely more powerful barriers of the mind.


A near fine copy.

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