I incurred many debts writing this book. The main one I owe to my wife,
Xóchitl, and my daughters, Catalina and Aída. I could not have done it
without their patience, enthusiasm, and, when necessary, critical dis-
tance. Xóchitl read the manuscript multiple times and made it better.
They are behind this book’s attempt to understand gender inequality in
Mexico. Also essential were the interest and encouragement of my family
(my mother, Ana, brother Antonio and sister Cecilia, and the Medina
family), and my friends. Theo Hernández conveyed some of the oral tra-
dition about duels and fencing. My colleagues in the Department of
History at Columbia University, with their high expectations and con-
tinuing support, made this book a reality. I name Ellen Baker, Elizabeth
Blackmar, John Coatsworth, Victoria de Grazia, Alice Kessler-Harris,
Adam Kosto, Claudio Lomnitz, Gregory Mann, Nara Milanich, Caterina
Pizzigoni, but the community was broader. I had the privilege of work-
ing with students who contributed to this book in many ways: Victoria
Basualdo, Ira Beltrán, Antonio Espinosa, Keith Hernández, Claudine Ley-
singer, Vania Markarian, Thomas Rath, and Pilar Zazueta. In Argentina,
Mexico, and the United States fellow historians Claudia Agostoni, Paula
Alonso, Silvia Arrom, Jacinto Barrera Bassols, Carlos Forment, Sandra
Gayol, Renato González Mello, Paul Gootenberg, Luis Fernando Gra-
nados, Carlos Illades, Gilbert Joseph, Sandra Lauderdale-Graham, Elías
José Palti, Erika Pani, David Parker, Ariel Rodríguez Kuri, Paul Ross,
Cristina Sacristán, Elisa Speckman, Eric Van Young, and Richard Warren
read and commented on chapters. I appreciate the great generosity of
Elisa, David, Renato, and Rafael Barajas, El Fisgón. I would like this book
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