Integral Outsiders: The American Colony in Mexico City, 1876â1911, contains a colorful history of the Porfiriato through the lens of American participation, including carefully wrought descriptions of expatriate Americans. These individual biographies make the narrative more human and interesting, allowing Schell to move beyond the simplistic view of weak, greedy Mexican elites conspiring with powerful, greedy foreign capitalists to amass great wealth while impoverishing the Mexican masses and creating economic underdevelopment.Basing his comments on meticulous research, Schell points out that U.S. influence was hardly a one-way street and that the interaction between U.S. citizens and Mexicans was a complex system of cultural negotiations. He demonstrates convincingly that, while insinuating themselves into Mexican society, Americans thought that they were changing Mexico, and, in so doing, changed themselves. As Schell states, "Ultimately, then, it may be said that the Porfirian regime got the form of hegemony it sought, and Washington took the sort of hegemony it could get."
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