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Preface to the 1981 Edition

Dedication || 1: Neighbors

Mexico stands out from most of the Third World nations for its size, population, social-political stability and rapid economic growth. It stands out, also, because recent oil discoveries have turned it into a net exporter, a rare and dramatic event in this time of energy crisis. The United States especially hopes to benefit from the petroleum surpluses of its neighbor. But a host of historic and current problems complicates relations between the two countries, not the least being large immigration (often illegal, often winked at) from Mexico to the United States. Other important ingredients in relations are that Mexico is highly nationalistic and its leaders sensitive to charges of truckling to Washington and those leaders are highly trained in diplomatic, financial, and technical matters, and able to estimate to the penny (or centavo) the worth of Mexican resources. In dealing with the two countries this book is intended to illuminate the entire range of relations between them, but especially the petroleum and immigration problems. Although the authors are professional Latin Americanists, the book is meant for a broad audience. Such a book rests on a multitude of published and documentary sources, personal experiences and conversation, travels, and observations, research, teaching, speech-making in the United States and Mexico, and service in the United States government. May they serve to improve relations between the neighbors. We are citizens of one, but we love them both.