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Book Review

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The Herget-Camil book remained the sole overview of the Mexican legal system for two decades. In 1998, Professor Jorge A. Vargas of the University of San Diego began his series of volumes on Mexican Law: A Treatise for Legal Practitioners and International Investors, published by West. That series has proven to be very successful, serving well its intended audience — foreigners (non-Mexicans) engaging in transactions with Mexico. However, it was not intended to be an introduction to the Mexican legal system with regard to its history, culture, institutions, actors, procedure, rules or sources of law.

Now the gap is filled. Five prominent Mexican and U.S. legal scholars have produced Mexican Law. No shelf of literature in English on Mexican law can be considered even remotely complete without the addition of this volume.

Reading about Mexican legal history is essential for a foreign lawyer beginning to develop some understanding of Mexican law. The U.S. law student less "bypasses" taking U.S. legal history than finds it no longer offered. But the U.S. student has knowledge of U.S. history in general and thus the introduction to contemporary U.S. legal society does not occur in an historical vacuum. In contrast, the U.S. lawyer most likely has not studied Mexican history, except to be fed some mythology of stereotypes. Mexican Law provides a forty-two page overview of the history of Mexican law that should serve as recommended reading for anyone beginning to deal with Mexico and wishing to understand such contemporary institutions as the ejido or the oil giant Pemex, or the meaning of constitutionalism or federalism in Mexico.