Winner of the 1998 Michael C. Meyer Manuscript Prize!
Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food since 1910 traces the Mexican government's intervention in the regulation, production, and distribution of food from the days of Cardenas to the recent privatization inspired by NAFTA. Professor Ochoa argues that the real goals of the government's food subsidies were political, driven by presidential desires to court urban labor. Many of the agencies and policies were hastily set in place in response to short-term political or economic crises. Since the goals were not to alleviate poverty, but to provide modest subsidies to urban consumers, the policies did not eliminate destitution or malnutrition in the country. Despite the minimal achievements of these interventionist policies, the State Food Agency provided a symbol of the state's concern for the workers. The elimination of the Agency in the 1990s prompted social protest and unrest.
Feeding Mexico is the first study to examine the creation of networks to deliver food products, the relationship of these channels of distribution to the food crisis, and the role of the state in trying to ameliorate the problem. Based on exhaustive research of new archival material and richly documented with statistical tables, this book exposes the dynamics and outcome of social policy in twentieth-century Mexico.
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Enrique C. Ochoa is associae professor of history and associate coordinator of Latin American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles.Review:
Enrique Ochoa combines original archival research with a deep understanding of the political ramifications of food subsidies and programs as an influential public policy to explain its evolution. (Roderic Ai Camp)
Economists once praised the 'Mexican miracle' of rapid growth achieved through 'stabilizing development,' but the real miracle of the postrevolutionary era was maintaining political stability despite a wide gap between rich and poor. Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food since 1910 shows how the ruling party constructed a welfare system that both subsidized industrialization and bought social peace. (Lingua France)
Enrique Ochoa has made an important contribution to the examination of how food has been used as a political tool by the Mexican state in the twentieth century, demonstrating how the Mexican government responded to crises affecting Mexico by intervening in the nation's food production and distribution sector. (Choice)
Feeding Mexico provides a theory as to the government's policy toward subsidizing food in Mexico. The author's central thesis is that subsidies were created and maintained in Mexico not to alleviate poverty but to cater to the interest of urban labor. While the subsidies benefited the working classes, they failed to raise the standard of living of the rural masses throughout Mexico. (Cuslar Newsletter)
This outstanding work is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand Mexican politics in the twentieth century or to improve Mexican politics in the twentieth century or to improve Mexican standards of living in the twenty-first. (The Americas)
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Book Description Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110842028129
Book Description Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0842028129