First Paperback Edition of a Book That Reveals How the News Media Distort Current Events Includes revelations on coverage of the Gulf War UNRELIABLE SOURCES: A Guide to Detecting Bias in New -s Media by Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon “Today, when the media are as big a part of the story as the story itself, you’re not truly informed unless you’re up on the media as well. This book is an excellent place to start.” From the Foreword by Edward Asner “A worthy addition to the library of any student of American news media, social structure and political science.” Washington Post “This book is about the media’s dirty secrets…You can see why media moguls aren’t happy.” USA Today “Committed, eloquent writing that plumbs the psychological and political complexities of mass-mediated experience.” San Francisco Chronicle “Not only have Lee and Solomon written a timely consumer primer on conservative bias in reporting, they’ve done it with humor.” Washington Journalism Review “A telling indictment, urgently but not hysterically expressed.” Booklist Martin A. Lee is the publisher of Extra!, the journal of Acid Dreams. Norman Solomon, a FAIR advisory board member, is co-author of Killing Our Own. C Published by Lyle Stuart/Carol Publishing Group To order, call 1-800-447-BOOK or send $14.95 plus $3 shipping and handling, to Carol Publishing Group, Dept. T, 120 Enterprise Ave, Secaucus, NJ 07094. Mexican Bolero “to discover and converse with this other country, the country that’s hidden in the eight-inch columns” of the daily newspapers. Mastretta is no rebel, however. Her husband, Hector Agile Camin, is a prominent historian and publisher with strong ties to the Salinas administration. Quoting from the dust-jacket confessional: “This book wanted to be a political novel but it turned into a love story.. The author says she’ll never be good at anything else.” F MEXICO IS TRULY the kingdom of the unprovable, then perhaps it’s time to send Hector Belascoaran Shayne to the rescue. Belascoaran Shayne is the half-Basque, half-Irish, 100-percent chilango detective created by Paco Taibo II. Taibo, 42, is a journalist and radical historian who moves in and out of Mexico’s cultural establishment at will coming-of-age was the Mexican student movement of 1968. He is the current president of the International Association of Crime Writers, and often credited as the pioneer of Mexico’s new detective fiction. “Every city gets the detective it deserves,” Taibo writes in An Easy Thing, the first of the Belascoaran Shayne novels to be translated into English. His Mexico City, circa 1977, is a great hulking beast. Belascoaran Shayne takes his refuge in a cantina called The Lighthouse at the End of the World: “It was a high-class dive located inside the old feudal city of Azcapotzalco, in what had once been the outskirts of Mexico City, but was now just another link in an endless chain of industrial zones, where the picturesque remains of haciendas, graveyards and village churches stood in the shadow of a monstrous oil refinery, the pride of fifties technology.” The detective is a 31-year-old divorced engineer, holder of a master’s degree from an American university and a “certificate in detection from a Mexican correspondence school, a fan of private-eye novels and a connoisseur of Chinese food, a mediocre driver, lover of parks and forests, owner of a .38 revolver, a little rigid, fairly shy, mildly sarcastic, excessively self-critical, who one day on his way out of a movie theater broke with his past, and started life all over again.” While pondering his personal problems his mother has just died, his girlfriend is trying to find herself in Europe Belascoaran Shayne is presented with three mysteries to solve: a corpse at factory beset by labor problems, suicide threats from the teen-aged daughter of a former porn star, and rumors that the revolutionary war general Emiliano Zapata is alive and well if somewhat heartbroken over the desmadre that has come to the Mexican Revolution and has taken up residence in a Mexico City cave. Belascoaran Shayne knows he is up against a losing battle. Who ever heard of a private eye in Mexico? Yet he perseveres, plying his trade in the low-rent office he shares with a plumber, an upholsterer and a “sewer expert.” Taibo plays with the reader’s expectation that the three stories are going to come together, asking rhetorically “what some detective out of a mystery novel would do.” As with all of Taibo’s novels set in the Mexican capital, the convoluted plot is secondary. What really matters is the city itself, “the dirty gray dawn,” “the dust and the misery of one hundred thousand new immigrants from the countryside,” the cops who exist to foster rather than fight crime, the tamale vendors ready to greet the first rush of workers before the subways open, the all-night radio talkshow host who offers a lifeline to physics students cramming for exams and private detectives trying to resolve the mysteries of the universe, or at least the Colonia Juarez. Taibo reins in his three stories and Belascoaran Shayne resolves his three mysteries. There is no sharp-edged mathematical elegance, as in the perfect English mystery. “Happy endings weren’t made for Mexico,” says Belascoaran Shayne. Contrary to the promises of Andres Ascencio and his real-life contemporary counterparts, many crimes do go unpunished. But that’s not the point. Belascoaran Shayne lives by the epigram that begins the novel: “In this life it’s an easy thing to die. To make life is more difficult.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
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