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Thursday, July 29, 2010
There's A Word For It In Mexico by Boye Lafayette de Mente
Flawed but extremely useful
I read this book the way it was not intended to be read - straight through, rather than using it like a dictionary. It can get a bit repetitive as the author tries to fully explain how Mexico's history has caused their culture to react certain ways and to see things as they do. I must have read the sordid history of the Conquest of Mexico and its exploitation by both Church and Spain 25 times.
The cultural elements are well-explained, very informative and usually well-written. FREQUENT spelling errors mar the book as do occasional historical errors. His math facts concerning the growth of the Mestizo population in Mexico also conflict with one another, depending on the entry you read.
Was the book valuable? Yes, and not just to the traveler to Mexico. If you live near or work with Hispanics in the United States it will also be of considerable value.
Despite the flaws that I mentioned above, I am still giving this book 4 Stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: There's a Word for It in Mexico.
Reviewed on July 14, 2004.