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The Mexican Petroleum Industry in the Twentieth Century Alan Knight

The Mexican Petroleum Industry in the Twentieth Century

Alan Knight

Published January 1st 1992
ISBN : 9780292765337
Hardcover
315 pages
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 About the Book 

Mexicos Petroleum Industry has come to symbolize the very sovereignty of the nation itself. Politicians criticize Pemex, the national oil company, at their peril, and President Salinas de Gortari has made clear that the free trade negotiationsMoreMexicos Petroleum Industry has come to symbolize the very sovereignty of the nation itself. Politicians criticize Pemex, the national oil company, at their peril, and President Salinas de Gortari has made clear that the free trade negotiations between Mexico and the United States will not affect Pemexs basic status as a public enterprise. How and why did the petroleum industry gain such prominence - and, some might say, immunity - within Mexicos political economy? The Mexican Petroleum Industry in the Twentieth Century, edited by Jonathan C. Brown and Alan Knight, seeks to explain the impact of the oil sector on Mexicos economic, political, and social development. The book outlines how the foreign oil companies, beginning in the 1880s, converted Mexico from an importer of petroleum products to one of the worlds foremost oil exporters - despite the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution. The state and the oil companies, however, increasingly clashed over taxation and ownership, and Mexican oil workers, drawing on their vigorous cultural traditions, organized to defend their collective interests in this new industrial setting. The outcome of this complex set of relationships - President Cardenas nationalization of the oil companies in 1938 - was a watershed in Mexican history and represented the first major oil nationalization undertaken by a Third World power. Several chapters in the book examine the complex web of domestic politics and international diplomacy that led to the creation of Pemex and analyze the role of the oil workers and national elites in this process. Pemex was born during a difficult period of international oil boycott, worker-state conflict, and technological deficiencies. Yet the national company survived. By the 1950s, Pemex had assumed the tasks, via the provision of cheap fuels, of underwriting Mexicos rapid industrial expansion. These were the years when the oil workers union gained a reputation for both power and corruption. The oil