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PAZ, PRI, AND PROGRESS: OCTAVIO PAZ’S POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND LITERARY STRUGGLE TO INSPIRE REFORM IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY MEXICO

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Author(s): D. Gene Pace

Journal: Essays in Economic & Business History
ISSN 0896-226X

Volume: 21;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2003;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Throughout most of the twentieth century; Mexico’s political and economic policies were heavily influenced by the Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI). The landmark 1998 victory by Vicente Fox, the first presidential candidate in seven decades to win without the official sanction of the PRI,marked an important milestone in Mexican history; Octavio Paz, an eloquent proponent of political, economic, and social reform, sought for decades to inspire change. This paper seeks to illuminate Paz’s economic philosophy, and to demonstrate how the acclaimed writer, through courageous symbolic action coupled with an inimitable and potent pen, challenged the PRI’s hegemony in Mexico and contributed to the historic election he almost lived to celebrate (an elderly Paz died shortly before the historic 1998 election).“The Aztec ritual of 2 October [1968] in the Plaza de Tlatelolco. . . convinced me to abandon the Mexican Foreign Service.”“October 2, 1968 ended the student movement. It also ended an era in thehistory of Mexico.”
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