© Princeton University

A personal view of Mexican history, its different stages from the Indian civilizations to the present day. Novelist, scholar, and diplomat, Carlos Fuentes was born in Panama and educated in both Mexico and Washington, D.C., where his father was a member of the Mexican diplomatic corps. Fuentes studied law and served as director of international cultural relations for the Mexican government before pursuing a full-time literary career. After the publication of his critically acclaimed novel Terra Nostra, Fuentes served for two years as the Mexican ambassador to France. He has published more than one dozen novels, including The Old Gringo (about the American writer Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared in Mexico during the revolution, which became a best-seller in the United States), Christopher Unborn, Diana: The Goddess Who Hunts Alone, and more recently Inez, The Year with Laura Diaz, a saga of 20th-century Mexican history, and The Eagle’s Throne, a satire of Mexican politics. He has taught at Cambridge University in England, Harvard University, Brown University, and Princeton University. Recently Fuentes published a collection of essays, This I Believe: A Life from A to Z, winner of the Royal Spanish Academy’s Prize for Best Book of 2004. The volume covers his views of revolution, literature, film and the transforming power of art, politics, and love.