I didn’t want to leave Mexico after completing the research for this book in
1996. The Zapatista rebellion had galvanized Mexico’s left, and in the town
of Tepotzlán, where I wrote much of this work, my neighbors were giddy
with hope for real political change. University of Montana students and
some dedicated Missoulians made the transition an easier one. Their pas-
sion for Latin America’s history and their dogged e√orts to globalize the
resistance to neoliberalism inspired me during every step of this work. I
especially want to thank Melissa Bangs, Kate Keller, Mark Carey, Scott
Nicholson, Raquel Castellaños, Joanna Arkema, Camile Becker, Paul Ryan,
Jen Sens, Burke Stansbury, Genena Bradley, Egan Bradley, Jordan Dobro-
volny, Janet Finn, Andrea Olsen, Lynn Purl, Paul Haber, John Norvell,
Kimber Haddix, Leida Martins, and María Bustos-Fernández.
Latin American historians are lucky: many of our most gifted practi-
tioners are as generous as they are talented. Carlos Forment, Sylvia Arrom,
William Taylor, Stanley Stein, Nancy Vogely, Linda Arnold, Scarlett O’Phe-
lan Godoy, Anne Rubenstein, William Beezley, and Gil Joseph either
greatly improved the manuscript or o√ered valuable encouragement. Two
reviewers at Duke University Press, as well as Valerie Millholland, Miriam
Angress, Judith Hoover, and Rebecca Johns-Danes made this a much better
book. In Mexico City, I learned a tremendous amount about death in Latin
America, as well as some choice Spanish words, from Elsa Malvido and her
Seminario de Historia de la Muerte. The Colegio de México’s Seminario de
Historia de Mentalidades o√ered key comments that transformed both my
research and my thinking. The work owes any sophistication it can claim to
the tireless input of Jorge Bracamonte, Fanni Muñoz Cabrera, Cecilia Ri-
quelme, Elliot Young, Isabel Toledo-Young, Liz Norvell, Michael Snod-
grass, Anabel Ruíz, and Pablo Piccato: during intense weekend meetings
of our splinter faction, their rigorous criticism was rivaled only by their
enthusiastic investigations of Mexico City’s bajos fondos. A special thanks to
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