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The Last Good Neighbor: Mexico in the Global Sixties

In The Last Good Neighbor, Eric Zolov proposes a revisionist interpretation of Mexican history during the 1960s.  He shows how Mexico's political leadership simultaneously leveraged the nation's strategic partnership with the United States and harnessed the left's revolutionary passions, in pursuit of a grand strategy: to broaden Mexico's international relations and break free of economic subordination to Washington.  Zolov looks beyond the impact of the Cuban revolution to reveal the initial attraction of alternative geopolitical currents, such as the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the potential weight of diplomatic "balancers," including Western Europe and the Soviet Union, during a pivotal moment in the Global Cold War (c. 1959-1966).  Zolov examines the intersection of diplomatic, political, and cultural history to show how Mexico's pursuit of a "global pivot" transformed political subjectivities and laid the foundation for a renewed internationalism during the 1970s.

Date & Time

Monday
Sep. 27, 2021
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Overview

In The Last Good Neighbor, Eric Zolov proposes a revisionist interpretation of Mexican history during the 1960s.  He shows how Mexico's political leadership simultaneously leveraged the nation's strategic partnership with the United States and harnessed the left's revolutionary passions, in pursuit of a grand strategy: to broaden Mexico's international relations and break free of economic subordination to Washington.  Zolov looks beyond the impact of the Cuban revolution to reveal the initial attraction of alternative geopolitical currents, such as the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the potential weight of diplomatic "balancers," including Western Europe and the Soviet Union, during a pivotal moment in the Global Cold War (c. 1959-1966).  Zolov examines the intersection of diplomatic, political, and cultural history to show how Mexico's pursuit of a "global pivot" transformed political subjectivities and laid the foundation for a renewed internationalism during the 1970s.

Eric Zolov is Professor of History and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Stony Brook University.  He was a Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Chile (2019).  A graduate of Colby College (1987) and the University of Chicago (1990; 1995), he has published widely on popular culture, twentieth-century Mexico, and U.S.-Latin American relations.  In addition to several edited and co-edited collections, he is the author of Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture (1999) and co-author of the forthcoming, The Walls of Santiago: Social Revolution and Political Aesthetics in Contemporary Chile (2022). 

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

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