Books

A Marxist history of world capitalism told in comic-book form, Mexican political cartoonist El Fisgón's How to Succeed at Globalization: A Primer for the Roadside Vendor isn't so much a guide to winning the game as an argument that it's been rigged from the get-go. El Fisgón illustrates this addictively readable chronicle with a wide range of drawing styles, and includes numerous barbs of morbid humor. In one panel, a ragged developing-nation shantytown child begs her father, "Papa, tell us a story to take our mind off our stomachs. Remember the one about how much the economy has grown?"

How to Succeed's Latin American provenance is its greatest strength; El Fisgón relates the history of neoliberalism's so-called free-market economics, and how the promotion of same in Latin American nations by Western democracies and their local corporate allies led to the imposition of crushing debt, political corruption, and increased poverty. "I don't get it," says one emaciated, IMF-screwed peasant to another. "How come every time they shrink the state, we're the ones who end up thinner?"

 
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