Diego Rivera's mural Sueno de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central is a fascinating critique of high society and wealthy elites. It also offers a multitude of other stories that intersect in a web of historical memory. The massive mural, the histories it depicts, and even its physical journey after a devastating earthquake, hold answers to many of the questions readers might ask about Mexico. It also demonstrates how cultural artifacts explain the world around us and expose intersections and entanglements of specific power dynamics.Modern Mexican Culture offers an enriching and deep investigation of key ideas and events in Mexico through an examination of art and history. Experts in Mexican cultural and literary studies cover the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre, the figure of the charro (cowboy), the construct of the postrevolutionary teacher, the class-correlated construct of gente decente, a borderlands response to the rhetoric of dominance, and the "democratic transition" in late twentieth-century Mexico. Each essay is a rich reading experience, providing teachers and students alike with a deep and well-contextualized sense of Mexican life, culture, and politics.Each chapter provides a historical grounding of its topic, followed by a multifaceted analysis through various artistic representations that provide a more complex view of Mexico. Chapters are accompanied by lists of readily available murals, political cartoons, plays, pamphlets, posters, films, poems, novels, and other cultural products. Modern Mexican Culture demonstrates the power of art and artists to question, explain, and influence the world around us.
Stuart A. Day is professor of Spanish and senior vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Kansas. He is an author, editor, or contributor to several books, including Outside Theater: Alliances That Shape Mexico.