Perpetuating Power

How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen

The widely acclaimed explication of Mexican politics from “one of the most insightful Mexican intellectuals” (The New York Times Book Review)

Jorge Castañeda, who served as Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, has been both an insider and an outsider in Mexico’s political system. In Perpetuating Power, he lays bare the often mystifying workings of power in Mexico, offering readers what the New York Times Book Review called “an unusually revealing explication of the inner workings of three decades of presidential succession.”

To outside observers, Mexico stood out for its odd mixture of democratic pretension with autocratic inevitability: there were always elections, but everyone knew the next president would be the candidate of the aptly named Party of the Institutional Revolution, which governed Mexico throughout most of the last century.

In six penetrating essays combined with interviews by Castañeda with each of the living Mexican ex-presidents, Perpetuating Power provides a remarkably candid account of the political machinery behind Mexican presidential politics and a view, startling to political outsiders, of how power really operates.

Praise

“Castañeda strikes a blow for a more open and democratic Mexico in the future.”
The Washington Post Book World
“Castañeda’s stunning new book has become an instant bestseller—150,000 copies sold in a mere two months—and seems destined to become the most important political book of the decade.”
Foreign Policy
“An unusually revealing explication of the inner workings of three decades of presidential succession.”
The New York Times Book Review

Books by Jorge G. Castañeda

The Mexican Shock
Its Meaning for the United States

Jorge G. Castañeda

Ex Mex
From Migrants to Immigrants

Jorge G. Castañeda