I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
In this dazzling multidisciplinary tour of Mexico City, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo focuses on the period 1880 to 1940, the decisive decades that shaped the city into what it is today. Through a kaleidoscope of expository forms, I Speak of the City connects the realms of literature, architecture, music, popular language, art, and public health to investigate the city in a variety of contexts: as a living history textbook, as an expression of the state, as a modernist capital, as a laboratory, and as language. Tenorio’s formal imagination allows the reader to revel in the free-flowing richness of his narratives, opening startling new vistas onto the urban experience. From art to city planning, from epidemiology to poetry, this book challenges the conventional wisdom about both Mexico City and the turn-of-the-century world to which it belonged. And by engaging directly with the rise of modernism and the cultural experiences of such personalities as Hart Crane, Mina Loy, and Diego Rivera, I Speak of the City will find an enthusiastic audience across the disciplines.
About the Author
Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo is professor of history at the University of Chicago, and associate professor at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City. He is the author of Mexico at the World’s Fairs and other books.
“This luminous, lyrical set of essays comes at Mexico City’s cultural transformations and the global flows that informed them from a number of angles, each more provocative and fascinating than the last."
— Margaret Chowning
“I Speak of the City is a work of remarkable erudition and interpretation of the modernity and cosmopolitanism of Mexico City. It is a work of rich implication for our thinking about the nature of modernity and of world cities in general. Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo is a unique and exciting guide to layered history and cultural connections of one of the world's great cities.”
— Thomas Bender
“I Speak of the City is an excellent and beautifully written cultural history of twentieth-century Mexico City. Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo displays a vast erudition as he takes the reader on a tour of the city's literature, art, architecture, design, journalism, music, popular sayings, and—not for the faint of heart—the deadly typhus epidemics.”
— Rubén Gallo
"Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo delivers insightful, multidisciplinary examinations of Mexican culture, society, and history with [Mexico] City as teh main actor. . . . A unique vision and a solid entry for scholars, graduate students, and researchers interested in Mexico or urban history in general. Highly recommended."
“[An] assiduously researched and gracefully crafted series of essays on the history of Mexico City in the first decades of the twentieth century. . . . I Speak of the City . . . is a work that is far more than the sum of its elegantly crafted parts. Tenorio-Trillo’s innovative book contributes to Mexican and urban history more generally and provides an outstanding guide for imagining the simultaneity and multiple dimensions of the historical urban experience.”
— American Historical Review
“A bold and welcome attempt to change how we read and write urban history.”
— Canadian Journal of History