“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
Author Robert Joe Stout’s book ‘Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster’ provides a compelling overview of the country’s political, economic and social changes that have taken place in the years 2000 – 2010. Focussing on the historical and the contemporary relation with its neighbour the United States of America, the author lists five ‘landmines’ that could shred this relationship. Armed with a strong array of first hand reports, observations, interviews with officials and superior analysis; the author exposes the potential downside to the social and political settings of both the countries if the problems are left untreated.
Taking up five main areas of discord and misunderstanding between Mexico and U.S.A, the book presents a multifaceted take on the current state of Mexico’s socio and political environment. It highlights issues like the problem of unchecked production and distribution of drugs because of high demand from U.S. and the ever increasing gang violence. It also looks at how the famed War on Drugs has actually contributed to more deaths than curbing the demand of drugs. It discusses the unchecked migration problem of Mexican youths travelling to U.S. in search of employment and the United States militarized persecution of such illegal workers. It also covers the various uprisings and protest movements that has emerged of late challenging the U.S influence and neo liberal politics of the land. The book also manages to analyze Mexico’s economic, political and social settings within the politics of corruption. And how this backlash will affect modern day Mexico and the implications it will have on the Mexico-U.S. relationship.
This book also raises many important questions that are critical to understanding Mexico’s current economic and political challenges. Mainly how it continues to drown in debt in spite of opening up trade with NAFTA and export of oil. The reasons why it hasn’t been able to sustain all inclusive economic development is another issue addressed. The failure of repeated governments in not being able to provide for the welfare of its citizens and how it’s affecting the social fabric of the country is also discussed in great detail.
This book is exhaustively researched and told with the journalistic nitty-gritty style that presents both a historical and modern overview of the Mexican society and politics. Tackling various social elements in its endeavour to form opinion and relevant commentary, the book takes into account the voices of different policy makers, organizations, workers and others. The book also delves into detail the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship between Mexico and the United States. And with respect to the issue of migration, trade and criminal activities, a host of policies and processes are addressed to improve the prevailing relationship between the two countries.
Balanced and objective Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster provides a different and refreshing approach to understanding the country of Mexico. It presents a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of modern day Mexico that helps in better understanding its position on migration, war on drugs, business & commerce and political uprisings. This scholarly work is highly accessible and anyone who picks this book up is sure to take away something useful from it.
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc. (September 19, 2014)