By the end of Porfirio Díaz's 35-year dictatorship, Mexico City's population had more than doubled as the rural poor flocked to the capital. To Porfirian officials who sought to bring modernity to the city and to the historians who study them, the pelados represented a constant wrench in the wheel of progress. They lived in squalid conditions, drank too much, gambled and fought, and, most importantly to Jonathan M. Weber, died in overwhelming numbers. In Death Is All around Us, Weber argues that sanitation officials, doctors, and entrepreneurs used science and technology to combat the threat of dead bodies to the modernizing city. In response, lower-class Mexicans resisted attempts to reform their traditional practices, demonstrating the illusory nature of Porfirian “order and progress.” Four well-researched, concise chapters focus on transportation, dissection, preservation and disposal technologies, and government regulation of dead bodies....
Book Review| August 01 2020
Death Is All around Us: Corpses, Chaos, and Public Health in Porfirian Mexico City
Death Is All around Us: Corpses, Chaos, and Public Health in Porfirian Mexico City. By Weber, Jonathan M.
The Mexican Experience.
University of Nebraska Press,
276pp. Paper, $30.00.
Hispanic American Historical Review (2020) 100 (3): 573–575.
Amanda M. López; Death Is All around Us: Corpses, Chaos, and Public Health in Porfirian Mexico City. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 August 2020; 100 (3): 573–575. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-8350148
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