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The Lawless Roads (1939)

por Graham Greene

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388650,249 (3.27)22
Now with a new introduction by David Rieff, "The Lawless Roads" is the result of Graham Greenes expedition to Mexico in the late 1930s to report on how the inhabitants had reacted to the brutal anticlerical purges of President Calles. His journey took him through the tropical states of Chiapas and Tabasco, places where all the churches had been destroyed or closed and the priests driven out or shot. The experience provided Greene with the setting and theme for one of his greatest novels, "The Power and the Glory,"… (mais)
  1. 10
    The Power and the Glory por Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: In 1938 Greene traveled throughout the south of Mexico and experienced first-hand the terror and corruption, The travel Book Lawless Roads is the basis for the novel Power and Glory.
  2. 00
    Getting to Know the General por Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
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  Murtra | Oct 2, 2020 |
I love Greene's prose, but he seems like the kind of guy who'd order shepard's pie using church Latin in the middle of nowhere Tabasco and then be disappointed when brought tamales. ( )
  encephalical | Sep 10, 2018 |
i wanted to like it but he didn't like it so it was so miserable, this book was bought in london or sytatford for 99p. ( )
  mahallett | Nov 2, 2015 |
Mexico is remarkably similar to the People's Republic of China in the sense that the country, i.e. Mexico, has been ruled by a single, socialist revolutionary party since 1929. That revolutionary party, which was originally Communist, and a member of the Socialist International, is now considered a centrist party with a neo-liberal ideology, another similarity it shares with the CPC. This revolutionary party came to power following the Mexcican Revolution, which, in effect, consisted of a civil war, which lasted for 19 years, from 1910 - 1929. Particularly, the final three years of that period were characterized by fierce suppression of Catholicism in Mexico. The new constitution of 1917 already effectively banned many features and expressions of the Catholic faith from public view, but the repression was intensified when in 1926 the Calles Laws came into effect. This led to, initially peaceful, and later armed resistance from Catholic rebels, who murdered the president-elect, and fought as "crusade", the Cristiada against these laws between 1926 and 1929.

In The lawless roads, Graham Greene chronicles the aftermath of these historical events which are almost completely forgotten. In 1938, Greene was commissioned to travel through Mexico to record and describe the situation in which the country and the catholic faith found itself after the forced anti-Catholic secularisation. It is widely assumed that the commission came from the Vatican, while Longman Publishers are mentioned as instigator for the book. Recent scholarship suggests that Graham Greene actually spent three months in exile in Mexico for much more profane reasons, fleeing possible prosecution in the United States in what is becoming known as the "Shirley Temple scandal."

In 1938, Graham Greene was 32 years old. He was already a well-known, published author, with seven novels to his name. Still a fairly young man, keen on adventure, but also a certain degree of comfort, The lawless roads is a travelogue of Greene's trip through war-torn Mexico. It is clear that Greene did not enjoy his journey, and towards the end of it, he increasingly complains of boredom, discomfort and general malaise, both his own suffering and that of the country he is travelling through.

The book is a rather straightforward report of the towns they travelled through and the people met or encountered on the roads. There are numerous references to Mexican politics, which are now but vague to construe, and would require quite some background knowledge to decipher.

The lawless roads is a rather boring book, reflecting Graham Greene's boredom and disinterest in his commission. Suggested readership would be limited to aficionados of Graham Greene or Catholics with the obscure interest in the role of militant resistance during the Mexican Revolution, or some similar obscure interest in Mexico or Chiapas. ( )
  edwinbcn | Sep 21, 2014 |
The Lawless Roads is Graham Greene's account of his journey through Mexico in 1938. His experiences during this trip inspired his famous novel, The Power and the Glory.

Beginning in San Antonio and crossing the border into Mexico at Larado, Greene finds himself in a nation that has still not recovered from the ravages of civil war. Travelling south towards Mexico City via Monterrey, his real goal is in the south, where the churches are still closed and priests banned. He wants to be at San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas for Holy Week to experience it in a place where the Catholic Church is banned. Since the south is still suffering unrest, the Mexican state allows few outside visitors, so Greene pretends he wants to visit the Mayan ruins at Palenque. Will he make it in time, or will he fall afoul of the authorities in anticlerical Tabasco first.

Throughout the course of the book, Greene struggles to balance his respect for some aspects of the native populations with his sense that they and their culture are inferior to that of White Europeans. Ultimately after suffering what today's traveller might call Montezuma's Revenge, he is more than ready to go home. Only to find that parts of Mexico may not have been that bad after all.

Recommended for anyone with an interest in 20th century Mexico or Graham Greene. ( )
  inge87 | Mar 10, 2014 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
(As "Another Mexico" USA)
Yet, out of all this ugliness Mr. Greene causes to emerge a picture of Mexico that is alike vivid in detail and absolutely convincing as a whole. This is mainly due to the high merit of his writing; he joins to a remarkable command of English an equally remarkable talent for breathing life into the strange human figures which people his somber canvas. No less remarkable is his attitude. He never condescends. He is no mere grouchy Anglo-Saxon up against Latins and aborigines beyond his understanding. He exudes no superiority.
adicionada por John_Vaughan | editarNY Times, T.R. Yearra (Jul 12, 2011)
 
Mexico is a state of mind for Greene. Kruger and the Falangists have also turned places into states of mind, although for them they serve as ideals rather than as mental distopias. It is as if everybody, or at least every European, is fated to live in a state of existential displacement, of disappointed expectations or of unrealizable hopes. At the end of the book not even the longed for violence of war can be relied upon to turn up when and where it was expected:
 
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Now with a new introduction by David Rieff, "The Lawless Roads" is the result of Graham Greenes expedition to Mexico in the late 1930s to report on how the inhabitants had reacted to the brutal anticlerical purges of President Calles. His journey took him through the tropical states of Chiapas and Tabasco, places where all the churches had been destroyed or closed and the priests driven out or shot. The experience provided Greene with the setting and theme for one of his greatest novels, "The Power and the Glory,"

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