Our Word Is Our Weapon

Marcos, Author, Subcomandante Marcos, Author, Juana P. De Leon, Editor Seven Stories Press $27.95 (456p) ISBN 978-1-58322-036-8
In 1994, as a guerrilla group of indigenous people calling themselves ""Zapatistas"" rose up in armed rebellion in the poor Mexican state of Chiapas, the writings of their enigmatic spokesman, Marcos, began being published in various Mexican journals and newspapers. They have since been disseminated around the world via the Internet and by Cinco Puntos press in the U.S. This collection of Marcos's work clearly showsDno matter one's stance on his politicsDwhy he has become an international phenomenon: he is a writer of rare ability. As a political analyst and propagandist, Marcos offers trenchant analyses of the plight of the native people of Mexico, their neglect by a corrupt national government and the exacerbation of their poverty and marginality, according to him, as ""neoliberalism""Di.e., international financeDpermeated that nation. But he moves easily to romantic realist musings on his life in the remote mountains of Chiapas and the path that led him to the role of rebel. Finally he becomes a fabulist, writing his own brief talesDat times achingly poetic, at other times laugh-out-loud funnyDand retelling the ancient myths and legends from Mexico's Mayan past. Though the pieces here are, in the end, difficult to categorize, what connects them is Marcos's commitment to making the indigenous people visible, revealing the poverty of their lives and the richness of their traditions. He writes, ""Being silent, our voice was passing away."" Marcos has broken that silence in language as strong as dignity and as subtle as love. To read this collection is to discover that rare animal: an original voice. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 456 pages - 978-1-58322-472-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-58322-663-6
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