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Manana Forever?

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Why are Mexicans so successful in individual sports, but deficient in team play? Why do Mexicans dislike living in skyscrapers? Why do Mexicans love to see themselves as victims, but also love victims? And why, though the Mexican people traditionally avoid conflict, is there so much violence in a country where many leaders have died by assassination?

In this shrewd and fas...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2011)
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John
One of my distance learning Spanish instructors (from Mexico) suggested this book when I asked her what I could read to learn more about Mexico (not about Spanish). The author was very engaging and I will definitely keep my eyes and ears open later this month to see if I agree with his characterizations of Mexicans. Although originally written in English for readers in the U.S., there is a Spanish translation/re-write too (sorry Fabiola, I read the English one first!).

In addition to his main poi...more
Oscar Romero
In my own humble opinion, the best book about why we are how we are and the many reasons why.

An excellent source of information that is not only great and usable information but also provides the necessary back up data.

Now--the challenge--if we (Mexicans as myself) decide to take it; is to change for the better....and never give up. We know we can--all we have to do is continue learning and work together, as one.

Thank you Mr. Castañeda, this is indeed an excellent work--about Mexico, its histor...more
Patrick Sprunger
Trying to penetrate Mañana Forever's heavy reliance on statists and psychobabble is a little daunting. One does not have to have aced his/her college economics classes to follow Jorge Castañeda's narrative, but having taken a couple of 100 level courses doesn't hurt. The book's strength lies in its value as an introductory course into contemporary Mexican politics. Unless one is from a community with a prominent Mexican immigrant population, many North Americans may not understand the difference...more
David
I certainly enjoyed this book and was surprized and entertained by some of the things he suggested about the Mexican psyche. He was a former Foreign Minister under the Vicente Fox presidency as well as a professor in both Mexico and the U.S..

The basic premise is that a vast majority of Mexicans are now becoming middle class as well as mestizo (mixed race) and despite some of their more traditional view, they need to become more "modern" in their views to progress the country. His feels that the...more
Darrenglass
Castaneda's book is quite interesting, as it delves into the nature of the Mexican character, even while writing at length about how the concept of a national character doesn't really make sense. He investigates some of the contradictions in Mexican attitudes about things, and talks at length about Mexico's relationship with the US and other countries, a topic he knows a lot about as he served as the foreign minister under Fox. Parts of the book are definitely somewhat uncomfortable to read, as...more
Chris
I had high hopes for this book. Thought it would be interesting with a chapter titled something like "why Mexicans aren't good at soccer and hate skyscrapers." After a punishing 25 page preface and 13 pages into the "exciting" titled chapter I knew I couldn't make it. You know when an author takes 25 pages to explain what he's trying to say, well, what is he trying to say? I couldn't finish the chapter let alone the book. Lots of rambling and I was never clear what he was trying to say. He invok...more
Margaret Sankey
From Vincente Fox's former foreign minister and biographer of Che, Jorge Castañeda Gutman, this is a popular examination of Mexican national behavior, from soccer misbehavior, family loyalties, why there are so many blondes in beer ads, the political baggage of Mexican film stock characters, the byzantine system of citizenship law mandated by the Mexican constitution, the debate on how state-distributed textbooks portray Mexican history, machismo, why middle class people resist public transporta...more
Ktbrez
Mañana Forever is an interesting overview of Mexican society that attempts to understand this country and it's people based on a handful of characteristics. I'm always skeptical of attempts to narrowly define complex sociocultural realities, which is an issue Castañeda only addresses in the final pages of his book. I also don't necessarily agree with his contention that industrialization and Americanization are key to a happy and prosperous Mexican future. There is an over use of survey results...more
Donigan Merritt
You have to be a serious fan of Mexico and things Mexico to read all of this. Since I am only mildly, even tangentially interested in Mexico, I kept getting bogged down by the data, most of it reading like a sociology text. I read the first quarter rather carefully, the next quarter less carefully, and the last half I skimmed, looking for the interesting parts. A reader with a major interest in Mexico and the Mexican character would probably get more out of this book. If you are not that reader,...more
Steve Iman
The author struggles to identify dimensions of Mexican realities (character?) and then in alternate chapters surveys an eclectic range of observations and data as it's available to support the author's points. There's much here to think about for those who care about sound social and political development for the U.S. neighbors south of the border.
Ellen Snyder
A Mexican looks at the national character of his countrymen, and finds it to be somewhat at odds with Mexico's desire to enter the world economic community. Distrust of foreigners, inability to work as a team, lack of readiness for democracy, all contribute to Mexico's problems.
Megumi Terui
While I don't like Castañeda's anecdotic approach in some sections, I think it is a good compilation of previously done research on Mexican cultural identity, and he
Manages to point out issues that could be used as a way to get a general understanding of Mexican national identity.
Joyce
Since I am a serious fan of Mexico in particular, and Latin America in general, I enjoyed the book, though definitely not a light read. Academic in his writing, he also injects his personal views and experiences, claiming both a subjective and objective punta de vista de Mexico.
Signoranimal
The politician, academic, critic and writer Jorge Castañeda presents us an interesting insight about the mentality of the mexicans.
Lindsey
couldn't finish; pretty long-winded and politically technical, but an interesting attempt to generalize a population
Israel
Concise, very good, enthralling if you are Mexican, yet surrealistic if you are not.
Brian Williams
It was too difficult to read -- rambling and too many contradictory statistics.
Lori
Lots of stats.Took me too many mananas to finish. Whatever possessed me?
Glenn Banks DDS
trying to learn more about Mexico and the culture.
Gina
Gina marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2014
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Jun 30, 2014
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From Wikipedia:

Jorge Castañeda Gutman (born May 24, 1953) is a Mexican politician and academic who served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs (2000–2003).
Castañeda was born in Mexico City. He received the French Baccalauréat from the Lycée Franco-Mexicain in Mexico City. Then after receiving his B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Economic History from the University of Paris (Panthéon-La So...more
More about Jorge G. Castañeda...
Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara Che Guevara Mañana o pasado: El misterio de los mexicanos La Herencia: Arqueologia de La Sucesion Presidencial En Mexico Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left After the Cold War

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