Published in Mexico City in 1604, Bernardo de Balbuena's Grandeza mexicana brings to life in Castilian verse the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. As Barbara Mundy reminds us in The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City, Balbuena describes Mexico City as rising phoenixlike from the flames of a presumably destroyed Tenochtitlan. Dense with research and insight, Mundy's study expertly counters the trope of the destruction of Tenochtitlan. Mundy's title borrows from Jane Jacobs's influential The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), in which the author-activist highlighted the disconnect between those who design cities and the needs of those who live in them. Though Mundy's thesis runs in a different direction, she shares with Jacobs an overriding emphasis on the city as a social space, and her riff on Jacobs's title should be read not as a statement of fact but rather as...
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Book Review| May 01 2019
The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City
The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City. By Mundy, Barbara E..
Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture.
University of Texas Press,
Photographs. Illustrations. Maps. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. ix, 246 pp. Cloth, $75.00.
Hispanic American Historical Review (2019) 99 (2): 354–356.
Amber Brian; The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2019; 99 (2): 354–356. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-7370357
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