Condon, John C., Good Neighbors: Communicating with the Mexicans (2nd Edition)

Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at

Slim and knowledgeable

Rarely do books grow in importance in their subsequent editions. John Condon's Good Neighbors: is one that increases in value for our times. No one who looks at the demographics and traffic between Mexico and the US can underestimate the impact that these two nations will have on each other in the coming century. How important it is for of both sides of the border to discard their biases and to be accurately informed about each other!

I am not tempted to call this scant 88-page text "an overview." True, it does not deal exhaustively with all facets of Mexican culture, but it does sort out and address in real depth, critical historical, social and practical facets of Mexican culture pertinent to our understanding of where our values and communication styles run afoul of each other. It contrasts Mexican culture brilliantly with that of the Norteamericanos and shows how they set the scene for misunderstandings both on the personal and individual levels as well as in political and economic affairs.

Rooted in solid historical fact, Good Neighbors brilliantly dissolves our assumptions about Mexico and its people and about the US in that stormy relationship and assists us with insights and information that can make a difference in how we deal with each other. Particularly noteworthy in this second edition is Condon's treatment of diversity trends in the US and how their potential to intensify certain cultural differences, e.g., around gender, rather than create acceptance and understanding.

Good Neighbors is a good read, its depth belied by its slimness.

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