Enrique Krauze is the author of Mexico: Biography of Power and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Letras Libres, published in Mexico City and Madrid. Daniel Hahn is the writer, editor, or translator of seventy books. His most recent translation, of Juan Pablo Villalobos’s 
I Don’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me, was published in May. (July 2020)

Follow Enrique Krauze on Twitter: @EnriqueKrauze.


Mexico’s Ruinous Messiah

Andrés Manuel López Obrador; drawing by John Cuneo
“Even if they call me messianic, I am going to purify the country.” —Andrés Manuel López Obrador Among the “elected despots” of our day who once they are democratically voted into office seek to do away with the separation of powers and judicial independence, to limit freedom of expression, and …

Hell of a Fiesta

In the spring of 2017, and all through the year, social media feeds in Venezuela were filled with images of deprivation and despair: long lines of people hoping to purchase food; women fighting over a stick of butter; mothers who could not find milk to buy; children picking through garbage in search of something to eat; empty shelves in pharmacies and stores; hospitals without stretchers, drugs, or minimum levels of hygiene; doctors operating on a patient by the light of a cell phone; women giving birth outside of hospitals. This is a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions.

Mexico in the Full Light of Day

A Visit to Don Otavio: A Mexican Journey

by Sybille Bedford, with an introduction by Bruce Chatwin
It was her reading of Calderón de la Barca’s Life in Mexico that in 1946 convinced Sybille Bedford to travel to Mexico, where she wrote her first book, A Visit to Don Otavio. Like her predecessor, Sybille Bedford uses all of her senses to describe Mexico. Her animated scenes and anecdotes are perspicacious and poetic, never condescending or merely picturesque. Every page contains some stylistic or factual surprise.

Cuba: The New Opening

Fidel Castro and his brother, President Raúl Castro, during a meeting of Cuba’s Communist Party Congress, Havana, April 2011

Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption, and Resistance, 1959–1971

by Lillian Guerra

Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana

by William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh
The history taught in Cuban schools exalts the redeeming function of the Cuban Revolution but it also, for the most part, reduces that revolution to a biography of Fidel Castro. Someday perhaps Cuban schoolchildren will have access to other versions of their history. If that day comes, Visions of Power …

The New Cuba?

A sign showing Cuban President Raúl Castro, and saying ‘May the earth tremble, compatriots!,’ Havana, Cuba, December 2014

Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

by Marc Frank
Marc Frank’s Cuban Revelations makes almost no use of the extensive and solid academic analyses on modern Cuba. It is essentially a long reportage based on internal documents produced by the hermetic Cuban political apparatus as well as discussions with ordinary Cubans from many niches of society.