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Manana Forever?

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  249 Ratings  ·  39 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
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Vintage (first published 2011)
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Según Jorge Castaneda, México es como un niño olvidado quien ha desarollado ciertos mecanismos para sobrevivir, pero que ya no le valen en el mundo moderno.

Los Mexicanos, por ejemplo, resultan ser individuales que acuden muy pocas veces a los proyectos colectivos como puede ser construir un estado de derecho o una sociedad civil.

Es lo principal y aqui dicho por Castaneda, "La supuesta devoción mexicana por la democracia choca con el individualismo de los mexicanos, y con su rechazo categórico a
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy bueno. Conciso, claro, al punto. Casi diría que es "El laberinto de la soledad" actualizado, aunque no es tan filosófico ni antropológico; está más bien enfocado hacia lo económico y lo social. En ocho capítulos Castañeda nos aclara qué es lo que le estorba a México para ser el país que debe (y puede) ser. Es cierto que sus tesis pueden ser discutibles y, aunque proporciona datos, números y multitud de citas, no necesariamente tiene la verdad en la mano (una actitud que muchos le criticamos ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book about Mexican culture. It was hard for me to read, since the Spanish vocabulary wasn't familiar to me and the concepts were quite deep.

It made me realize how dependent a country is on the thinking and beliefs of its forebears. Those who helped start our new nation were of the belief that if you don't like something (your country), then go find out how to change it, be that to leave the country and start over. Americans find a way to do something, somehow. It's a "can
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mexican-lit
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
Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer

Jorge Castan-eda has written a truly insightful book. I am an immigrant from Mexico and was able to see myself in these pages. After 20 years of being away from Mexico, this book helped me to understand what two generations of Mexicans have gone through. Anyone how is dealing with modern day Mexico should read this book. I will be recommending it to my friends who are engaged in doing business with Mexico.
Castan_eda lives between two worlds (flying from NY to Mexico) and is able to describe with
Feb 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: international affairs fans
The title of the book is a little misleading. This s not an anthropological or sociological study about Mexicans (such as The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz) but rather the proposal of a theory. Mr. Castañeda suggests that the Mexican identity, that is, the way Mexicans see themselves, is preventing Mexico from being a strong participant in the global economy. The author describes pretty much the way that identity has been formed through the years, even before the destruction of the ancien ...more
Oscar Romero
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Xiuh Montes león
Un libro que describe al mexicano en varios de sus rubros. Es un "must read" para los mexicanos a manera de autocrítica. Explica cosas esenciales acerca del individualismo del mexicano, su supuesta hospitalidad hasta por qué no gana el mundial. Personalmente me gustó mucho donde describe el estoicismo de nuestra naturaleza y que debemos dejar de sentirnos las víctimas. A pesar de haber sido escrito por un político (y dejando de lado sus soluciones derechistas y capitalistas) es una muy buena lec ...more
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it presents a remarkable effort to summarize in few pages the great problems that Mexico faces many of which have been postponed for so long and which are often misunderstood especially by mexicans.I consider it a good starting read for those who want to get a good grasp about who Mexicans are, the roots of their contradictions and perspectives for the future.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had some interesting anecdotes, and I didn't *dislike* it. But it was very dry and sociological. At times the sentence and paragraph structures were complex enough to obscure understanding. However, I do feel like I was warned about that in the intro and should have known better. So my lack of enjoyment can't be laid at the door of the author!
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
Eric Sbar
If you want to know why Mexico lacks a middle class and the type of teamwork seen in other parts of the world, look elsewhere. This book recites an issue without providing any positives about a hardworking people.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Castañeda details how Mexico’s past influences its current national character. He argues that its national character inhibits the country from modernizing and fulfilling its maximum potential, and he provides very strong support for his arguments (with statistics from various sources). However, I found the the book to be one-sided; positive aspects of Mexico and its national character were rarely discussed. It was likely Castañeda’s intention to ignore the strengths of the country for the purpos ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
In case someone assumes I'm a prolific reader, I had already read half of this book a while back, and just got back to finishing it up yesterday. In truth, I'm not all the way to the end quite yet, but intend to finish it by today; still, I doubt the conclusion will significantly alter my overall opinion of this book.

I do recommend reading this book, and I did like it, but my rating is pretty low as I found Jorge G. Castaneda to repeat himself a little too much, and I would have preferred a bit
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un excelente trabajo. Hay muchas cosas en el libro con las que no concuerdo pero creo que el libro tiene muchos aciertos y hace reflexionar sobre muchos aspectos de la cultura mexicana que nos impiden convertirnos en un verdadero país moderno. Creo que es una lectura obligada para todo el que esté interesado en México y su futuro.

Una cosa que le celebro bastante al autor es el estilo del libro. El autor presenta sus puntos de una forma clara, sin ser verboso. El autor presenta también datos com
Leonel Fernandez Novelo
¡Por fin se terminó! Es un libro complicado. SI bien tiene grandes observaciones y en el fondo (muy en el fondo) grandes aportaciones, el autor no logra vencer dos cosas: 1) su punto de vista quasi aristocrático-académico y 2) el divagar entre un mundo de anécdotas y datos.

En caída capítulo se pueden encontrar puntos interesantes para debatir sobre "el mexicano promedio" y la "mexicanidad" pero hay que tener la paciencia suficiente para avanzar en sus páginas con toda la concentración y encontra
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
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ellen Snyder
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Jeff Schauer
I'm wary of the very broad premise of this book (finding out what makes Mexico and Mexicans tick), but it's nonetheless a read from which most of us will learn much. It contains a lot of survey and public opinion data culled from the last decades of Mexican history that is fascinating to digest.
Megumi Terui
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
couldn't finish; pretty long-winded and politically technical, but an interesting attempt to generalize a population
Glenn Banks
trying to learn more about Mexico and the culture.
Jul 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was bored reading this book. I already forgot what I read...
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so far, quite interesting answers i've always had...
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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 about Jorge G. Castañeda...
“Las democracias no están diseñadas para unir a las personas. Su razón de ser es dejar que las personas que viven naturalmente divididas sigan haciéndolo de manera más próspera, pacífica y equilibrada.” 1 likes
“En uno de sus libros sobre México contradijo el refrán que cité en el séptimo capítulo: “Con dinero, baila el perro.” Decía que en México aunque le paguen bien, el perro no baila.16 Y no lo hace porque los perros mexicanos (es decir, todos) no responden a incentivos del mercado, a estímulos monetarios o pecuniarios, a premios y castigos, como sí lo hacen ciudadanos de otras democracias de mercado. No fue, de ninguna manera, la primera observadora en notar esto y sólo tenía razón en parte: algunos mexicanos, a veces y en circunstancias peculiares, sí reaccionan como los demás ciudadanos de ambientes similares. Lo que Antaki decía era que no hay virtudes, ni ventajas, ni encanto, ni valor de redención en el rechazo de México a la modernidad, sea vista como puntualidad, responsabilidad, cultura cívica o simplemente como el gesto de acatar las normas de tránsito o ir a trabajar todos los días.” 1 likes
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