An unfettered, probing dialogue between Mexican and American political analysts on the complex relationship between their countries.
Few nations are as closely interrelated as the United States and Mexico. Few relationships between nations are so prickly. America's inveterate problem-solving strikes Mexicans as clandestine imperialism. Mexicans are accused of ignoring the flow of drugs through their country; Americans are accused of saddling Mexico with their drug problem. Americans brood over the influx of Mexican immigrants; Mexicans worry that their culture and traditions are being diluted from the north.
These differences are now aired-and their origins made clear-in this landmark book by a former official in the Carter administration and one of Mexico's most respected political scholars. In alternating chapters on foreign policy, economic relations, immigration, and social influence, Robert A. Pastor and JorgeC. Castañeda offer a multifaceted view of the ties and conflicts between their countries.
Pastor, former director of Latin American Affairs on the National Security Council, and Castaneda, a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times , explore in alternating chapters the history, current state and future of Mexican-American relations. The purpose of the study is to present each nation's views of the other on foreign policy, economic relations and social influence. Pastor and Castaneda trace the deterioration of relations over the past decade, the effect of the collapse of petroleum prices and the peso , the increasingly complex issue of drug traffic, the large-scale migration from Mexico, as well as fears of Americanization and Mexicanization, respectively. Pastor addresses the question of whether Mexican immigrants in the megastates of California and Texas will assimilate, or try to ``keep one foot in both countries'' until their numbers are large enough to make separatist demands a la Quebec. Castaneda analyzes anti-Americanism south of the border, arguing convincingly that its power is seriously underestimated in the U.S. Both authors of this significant survey are guardedly optimistic about the fundamental question: whether cooperation is possible between the two countries. Above all, the book brings into sharp focus the fact that Mexico probably has a great capacity to affect the United States than any other country.