Childhood and Modernity in Cold War Mexico City
Author(s): Eileen Ford
Childhood and Modernity in Cold War Mexico City traces the transformations that occurred between 1934 and 1968 in Mexico through the lens of childhood. Countering the dominance of Western European and North American views of childhood, Eileen Ford puts the experiences of children in Latin America into their historical, political, and cultural contexts.
Drawing on diverse primary sources ranging from oral histories to photojournalism, Ford reconstructs the emergent and varying meanings of childhood in Mexico City during a period of changing global attitudes towards childhood, and changing power relations in Mexico at multiple scales, from the family to the state. She analyses children's presence on the silver screen, in radio, and in print media to examine the way that children were constructed within public discourse, identifying the forces that would converge in the 1968 student movement.
This book demonstrates children's importance within Mexican society as Mexico transitioned from a socialist-inspired revolutionary government to one that embraced industrial capitalism in the Cold War era. It is a fascinating study of an extremely important, burgeoning population group in Mexico that has previously been excluded from histories of Mexico's bid for modernity. Childhood and Modernity in Cold War Mexico City will be essential reading for students and scholars of Latin American history and the Cold War.
“The book is suited for an academic audience due to the author's thorough and detailed research, but Ford's clear narrative and persuasive arguments can also reach a broader public. The vast research she conducted is one of the strong points of this volume, which will be of value to a wide range of readers interested not only in the history of childhood but also in Mexican history and the impact of the Cold War in Latin America.” —H-LatAm
“A welcome recounting of children's history in mid-twentieth century Mexico. The dazzling, even “miraculous” change over the forty years from the drawing down of the Revolution to the massacre of student protesters in 1968 provides Ford her frame. In it, she places youth practices-comics, work, education-and adult preoccupations against the larger backdrop of geopolitics and modernization.” —Bianca Premo, Associate Professor of History, Florida International University, USA
“In Childhood and Modernity in Cold War Mexico City, Eileen Ford connects the history of everyday life to the history of politics in Mexico. She connects a detailed local history to broad transformations in the nation and the world. And she connects the lives of children to the fate of Mexico. Gracefully written, powerfully argued and persuasive, this book will matter to anyone interested in the Cold War and in histories of childhood, far beyond Mexico City.” —Anne Rubenstein, Associate Professor of History, York University, Canada