Laura Beers

Laura Beers is assistant literary editor at The New Republic.

Recent Articles

The Transfer of Power

Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen , by Jorge G. CastaƱeda. The New Press, 248 pages, $26.00. W hen businessman-turned-politician Vicente Fox was elected to the Mexican presidency last July, he helped bring an end to more than 70 years of one-party rule. As long as most Mexicans could remember, presidents had been selected by a process known as el dedazoz , (the finger tap) or el destape (the unveiling). The sitting president, invariably a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) "tapped" a member of his cabinet to become the next PRI candidate; the chosen man was then "unveiled" to the party elite at the annual party conference; and the party went into action rigging the country's electoral machinery to ensure their candidate's victory. Over the past two decades, however, the PRI, by a combination of choice and necessity, loosened its grip on Mexican politics, and in the result lost its hold on power. First published in Spanish last year as La...