The Mexicans: A Personal Portrait of a People

Patrick Oster, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (334p) ISBN 978-0-688-08193-5
Former Mexico City bureau chief for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, Oster strings together breezy stories of 20 Mexicansa cross-section of societyto illustrate the complexities of Mexico today. From Agustin, an honest cop, we learn that many Mexican police use torture as their number-one crime-solving technique. From the tale of Julio Scherer Garcia, a leading newspaper editor, we learn how kidnapping and intimidating phone calls stifle freedom of the press. Moving from Mexico City discos to remote Indian towns, we meet a doctor committed to helping poor patients despite his meager income, a struggling housemaid, a homosexual teacher wary of prejudice in a land of machismo, a TV comedian, a maverick politician, a herbal healer, environmentalists battling scavengers who live off a garbage dump. Oster, whose legally adopted son is a native Mexican, explains that illegal adoption is the norm, with bribery to grease the system's wheels. This revealing report points up many endemic or hidden problems in modern Mexico. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-195187-9
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-097310-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-06-001130-7
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