The Cosmic Race / La raza cosmica
In this influential 1925 essay, presented here in Spanish and English, José Vasconcelos predicted the coming of a new age, the Aesthetic Era, in which joy, love, fantasy, and creativity would prevail over the rationalism he saw as dominating the present age. In this new age, marriages would no longer be dictated by necessity or convenience, but by love and beauty; ethnic obstacles, already in the process of being broken down, especially in Latin America, would disappear altogether, giving birth to a fully mixed race, a "cosmic race," in which all the better qualities of each race would persist by the natural selection of love.
About the Authors
José Vasconcelos was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1882, to parents of European ancestry. Active in Mexican politics, he was exiled during the eras of Porfirio Díaz and Carranza, served as rector of the National University and as Minister of Education, and later ran unsuccessfully for president. He died in 1959.
"The Aesthetic Age posited by Vasconcelos, in which a mixture of all races is embraced, hasn't arrived yet, but we have seen previews of it in the 'Flower Power' movement of the sixties, the 'new age' craze of the eighties, and the current multicultural realities of North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean. With the millennium fast approaching Vasconcelos' vision of a new era in human existence is perhaps just around the corner."
"This bilingual edition of The Cosmic Race by José Vasconcelos gives the reader a clear and concise introduction to contents that have caused much critical controversy. Didier T. Jaén places this essay in perspective, discussing theories relevant to Vasconcelos's thought... [and] also provides an historical context for Vasconcelos's evolving ideas."
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