1. I thank Henry Goldschmidt for this wonderfully apt phrase.
2. Profe,’’ a contraction of profesor, is a common respectful but
relatively informal form of address from students to teachers
in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.
3. Tepito is a neighborhood just a bit north of the Zocalo. Known
as the ‘‘barrio bravo’’ (rough or fierce neighborhood), it has
long been famous as the cradle of some of Mexico’s greatest
boxers and notorious as a center of illegal activities of various
sorts. It is also well known as a neighborhood with its own
traditions, and as a site of legal and semilegal street commerce.
El Santo’s family lived there when they first moved to Mexico
City, as did the ‘‘Sanchez’’ family of Oscar Lewis’s Children of
Sanchez (1961).
4. When I returned in 2001 to follow up on old contacts, I learned
that the Association had disbanded in 2000 amid accusations
of embezzlement, and that Juan Alanís died of a heart attack
early the following year.
chapter 1: staging contradiction
1. Luchadores tended to distinguish between lucha libre and U.S.
professional wrestling, which they described (in English) as ‘‘all
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