In light of current events related to immigration issues, the drug war along the border, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Beldon Butterfield's insightful and informative history of the complex relationship between Mexico and the United States is both timely and useful.
Butterfield went to Mexico with Time Inc. in 1962 and has lived there ever since, enabling him to provide a unique perspective on the country's history and culture. He traces Mexico's tangled history from the early arrival of the Aztecs to their fall at the hands of Hernán Cortés, from the Mexican Revolution to the disastrous agrarian reform measures, and from Mexico's standing as one of the wealthiest countries in the world to its status, until recently, as a member of the third world.
Mexico's relationship with the United States is a key aspect of its culture. Many cultural barriers between the two countries are breaking down in spite of lingering resistance by both countries and differing perspectives of their common border. While Mexicans cannot forget that the border symbolizes the scar of an unjust war, Americans resent how millions of Mexicans cross it illegally in their quest for work.
The good news, Butterfield writes, is that Mexico is changing despite the continued opposition of political forces that want to maintain their unchecked power of the past. Mexico Behind the Mask shows how the road to a more prosperous Mexico seems to be on course.