Book Review On “Collapse of Dignity”

Collapse of Dignity written by Napoleon Gomez relates the account of the struggles between the Mexican miners’ union Los Mineros and the recent administrations of Vincente Fox and Felipe Calderon. The Pasta de Conchos industrial homicide incident was the catalyst to a war fought by both parties. Although this book is a cross between the autobiography and information genres, it is excellently paced between chapters of interesting information and chapters of stirring philosophical ideas; the language the author uses stays true to its corporate terminology while being sufficiently comprehensible; and the book is written with enough passion to emotionally engage the reader but not to the point that it becomes tiresome.

The beginnings of the book sketches the educational stretch of Napoleon’s life and then leads into the circumstances whereby he became involved with Los Mineros. After his father’s death, he is asked to take his father’s place as the next general head of Los Mineros; he soon has to deal with his first test as leader— Pasta de Conchos, the explosion that killed sixty-three men because of Grupo Mexico’s negligence. Next come the stories of his and the union’s different legal battles against Grupo Mexico and the PAN governments’ greed and corruption.

The reader is grabbed by the book’s compelling first few paragraphs. As the reader delves deeper, he is surprised at how interestingly the could-be-stale information is written. The content is always well juggled. After the author writes a whole patch of information, he starts the next chapter at a whole different angle which he connects so artfully within a few paragraphs. Many of the chapters are written in succession; and when they aren’t, it’s never confusing. The cohesiveness and unity of the writing is astounding.

Collapse of Dignity is neither boring nor specific to any one mass educated at a certain level. The book details the specifics of corporate entities, government dealings, miner’s rights and unions, and what may seem like a whole lot of gibberish— in fact, there is no excessive jargon. The corporate terms which are used aren’t heavy and strung along like wet rags along a line.

When one thinks of information books, one doesn’t expect to be emotionally engaged. One expects to be informed. Yet this book does a marvellous job of marrying the two. The sincerity which the author pours into his words are felt continuously, the passion ignited within the reader. At the end of most chapters, there is a plea found between the lines for the reader to acknowledge and support the fight Los Mineros is fighting against the crooked Grupo Mexico. However, the passion is never too much that the reader gets tired of it or thinks the author is insanely desperate.

The book’s entertaining, comprehensible, and thought-provoking story is a must-read for anyone who wishes to be informed of the Mexican laborer’s plight against a government who embraces unbridled capitalism. It is also informative of the global labor movements and unions. Well done, Senor Gomez!

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