Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Are Chosen



Jorge Castañeda, who served as Mexico's foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, has been both an insider and an outsider in Mexico's political system. In Perpetuating Power, he lays bare the often mystifying workings of power in Mexico, offering readers what the New York Times Book Review called "an unusually revealing explication of the inner workings of three decades of presidential succession."

To outside observers, Mexico stood out for its odd mixture of democratic pretension with autocratic inevitability: there were always elections, but everyone knew the next president would be the candidate of the aptly named Party of the Institutional Revolution, which governed Mexico throughout most of the last century.

In six penetrating essays combined with interviews by Castañeda with each of the living Mexican ex-presidents, Perpetuating Power provides a remarkably candid account of the political machinery behind Mexican presidential politics and a view, startling to political outsiders, of how power really operates.

Product Details

$26.00  $23.92
New Press
Publish Date
December 01, 2000
6.38 X 0.94 X 9.51 inches | 1.17 pounds

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About the Author

Jorge G. Castañeda is a Mexican politician and academic who served as Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs from 2000 to 2003. He worked as a professor at several universities, including the National Autonomous University of Mexico; the University of California, Berkeley; Princeton University; New York University; and the University of Cambridge. He has authored more than a dozen books, including Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants, The Mexican Shock: Its Meaning for the United States, and Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen, all published by The New Press. Castañeda regularly contributes to newspapers such as Reforma (Mexico), El País (Spain), the Los Angeles Times, and Newsweek.


"Castañeda's stunning new book has become an instant bestseller--150,000 copies sold in a mere two months--and seems destined to become the most important political book of the decade." --Foreign Policy

"Castañeda strikes a blow for a more open and democratic Mexico in the future." --The Washington Post Book World

"An unusually revealing explication of the inner workings of three decades of presidential succession." --The New York Times Book Review