[act-ma] 4/29 John Ross - Rebel Journalist (encuentro 5, 7:00 p.m. Thursday)

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Fri Apr 23 05:30:15 PDT 2010

  *April 29, 2010 7:00 p.m. John Ross on Mexico City @ encuentro 5*
  33 Harrison Ave, 5th floor, Boston, MA 02111

  *Rebel Journalist: John Ross*

*A Story of Mexico City*

**Thursday, April 29, 2010, 7:00 p.m.** Join renowned journalist John 
Ross for an evening connecting the people of Latin America and the 
United States... Nor ordinary scribe, Ross’ writing and presentations 
blend beat generation poetry with magical realist prose all while rooted 
in concrete social struggles and real politics... Ross leaves his 
audiences inspired to action and craving social change...

Here's Nation Books on his latest book: "John Ross—poet, journalist, and 
globetrotting troublemaker—has lived in what the Aztec-Mexicas described 
as "the umbilicus of the universe" since the great Mexico City 
earthquake of 1985 crushed out as many as 30,000 lives. Over the years, 
he has watched the city—El Monstruo—pick itself up, bury its dead, and 
come battling back. But he is filled with a gnawing unease that Mexico 
City's days as the most gargantuan, chaotic, crime-ridden, toxically 
contaminated urban stain in the Western world is doomed, that the 
monster he has grown to know and love through a quarter of a century of 
reporting on its foibles and tragedies and festering blight will be 
globalized into one more McCity.

"Covering 4,000,000,000 years of history from the primal broth that 
first spewed out the monster to the Aztec-Mexica oblivion through 
centuries of rapine and revolution all the way to the Great Swine Flu 
Panic of 2009, //El Monstruo// is a phantasmagoric retelling of the 
story of Mexico City, with which Ross's own history has become 
hopelessly entwined.

"In the tradition of Suketu Mehta's //Maximum City//, Roberto 
Bolano's//The Savage Detectives// and Joseph Mitchell's //Up At The Old 
Hotel//, Ross's //El Monstruo// is a unique exploration of the mother of 
all mega-cities. Never before has anyone told from ground level the 
gritty, vibrant histories of this left city of 23 million faceless, 
fearless souls, listened to the stories of those who have not been 
crushed by the Monster, deconstructed the Monstruo's very monstrousness 
and lived to tell its secrets."

Here's how John describes his current tour: "I am on a low-rent book 
tour with my new cult classic El Monstruo - Dread & Redemption In Mexico 
City <http://www.nationbooks.org/book/195/El%20Monstruo>. For the next 
three months, I will stumble across this land from sea to stinking sea 
probing the underbelly of Obama's America. " Prepared to be probed! More 
seriously, however, here's what the press has to say about Ross' latest 

“An impassioned and melancholy history of Mexico’s most complex, 
boisterous, and exhilarating city.”

*/San Antonio Express-News/*
“Meticulously researched and imaginatively reported, "El Monstruo" is 
not your typical history book. No dry, crinkly prose here. As it does in 
Ross' journalism, Mexico erupts, like PopocatÈpetl, from the page.”

*/San Antonio Express-News/*
“Like having the world’s best guide show you around.”

*/The Indypendent/** *
"Ross’ book is part people’s history, part Gonzo journalism, with a wry 
and humorous style."

*/Denver/**/ Post/*
“El Monstruo is a valentine to place and useful chronicle of an epoch 
that has seen Mexico’s people find their voice…Ross’ quarter-century as 
witness does us the invaluable service of putting events to come in a 
context to understand them.”

*/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram/*
“Vividly impressionistic survey of a fascinating urban panorama, El 
Monstruo makes for addictive reading.”

*/Kirkus Reviews/** STARRED REVIEW*
“Monstrously entertaining and tenderhearted…”
“…a brave, stirring love letter, cautionary tale and travelogue…”

*Mike Davis, author of /City of Quartz/ and /Planet of Slums/*
“From a window of the aging Hotel Isabel, where he has lived for almost 
a quarter of a century, John Ross sings a lusty corrido about a great, 
betrayed city and its extraordinary procession of rulers, lovers and 

*Iain Sinclair, author of /Lights Out for the Territory/ and /London 
“Coruscating and necessary. Here is one of those rare books that 
convinces from the first sentence: a writer embedded in his writing, 
wholly present in the subject, leading us with savage grace to the heart 
of the beast.”

*Jeremy Scahill, author of /Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most 
Powerful Mercenary Army/*
"John Ross is uncompromising in his dedication to the poor, the 
downtrodden and the victims of empire. He is not welcome on the 
television talk show circuit frequented by journalistic elites and 
political players, nor is he invited to the cocktail parties of the rich 
and powerful. He is most at home among the people in the slums and 
barrios of the world. John Ross is the personification of the peoples' 
reporter, a troubadour for justice who has chosen to cast his lot of 
conscience with those who have the will to live and the heart to resist 
against all odds. Simply put, John Ross is the Robin Hood of journalism."

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