In the Shadow of the Angel

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9780759606319: In the Shadow of the Angel

A bestseller in Spanish, this is the story of an extraordinary Mexican woman whose life was as passionate and conflicted as Mexico itself. She defied tradition and class to bring changes to her country, but the fraudulent election of 1929 led to her suicide.

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From the Back Cover:

 
       Called by many, Mexico´s  "Gone with the Wind", the novel is a panorama of three momentous decades in Mexican history: 1900-1931. 
 
The story is based on the life of an extraordinary Mexican woman who defied tradition and class to bring change to her country and the price she paid for a dream destroyed. 
 
Antonieta Rivas Mercado was the daughter of the architect of Mexico´s famous Independent Monument, popularly known as "The Angel".
 
 She intensely lived the last decade of a long dictatorship which ended in the lavish Centennial celebration of 1910, the chaos wrought by ten years of violent revolution and the struggle for power among the Generals who established the social and political order by which Mexico is governed today. 
 
Educated in Europe, brilliant and heiress of a fortune, Antonieta became the muse and patron of the young writers, artists and musicians of the twenties eager to join the modern world. 
 
The "scandalous" Antonieta consorted with the likes of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Tina Modotti, Federico Garcia Lorca as well as bullfighters, communists and Ambassadors. 
 
She dared seek a divorce: her ill-fated marriage to Albert Blair, an Anglo-American revolutionary,  and her obsession with a homosexual painter became Antonieta´s personal "vía crucis".
 
 In 1928 she entered the political arena and led the cause for women´s right to vote in the campaign of Presidential candidate, José Vasconcelos.  They shared a vision of an educated, just and democratic Mexico.  Committed to their mutual goal, Antonieta devoted her heart and her money to his campaign. 
 
Caught in the vortex of the fraudulent election of 1929, her lover defeated, her money gone and violence flaring, she kidnapped her son and fled to Paris. 
An inspiration to so many, the internal woman churned with insecurities and conflicting emotions.  At the age of thirty, Antonieta Rivas Mercado committed suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral  in Paris.
 
        In Mexico´s recent 2010 Centennial celebration, Antonieta was officially recognized as the prime promoter or modern Mexican culture.
 
The President  of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, called Antonieta "our National Angel". 
 
        Considered a classic in Mexico, the book is acclaimed both for its historical and literary content. The author is married to Antonieta´s son.                 
   
                                                       shadowoftheangel.com

About the Author:

Kathryn Skidmore Blair was born in Cuba in 1920 and moved to Mexico with her American parents when she was three. Mexico has been her home base ever since. Her father was the Manager of an international graphic arts firm and she says she grew up with two unmistakable aromas: ink and tacos Being bilingual and bicultural has opened doors all her life. At fifteen she was sent to school in California - a real cultural shock. To Americans, Mexico was border towns, half-naked children and tequila. Kathryn’s Mexico was a city of volcanoes and pyramids, a castle, an Opera house, beautiful gardens and school mates from all over the world. A recent graduate of UCLA when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Kathryn remained in Los Angeles during the war. She worked at NBC Hollywood for Nelson Rockefeller’s Office of Inter-American Affairs creating radio programs in Spanish aired in the US and across Latin America. Later, she had a radio program of her own. Divorced with one child, Kathryn embarked on a new, successful career, Interior Design. In 1959, she returned to Mexico and, with a partner, established her own Interior Design firm. Stating she would never marry again, Kathryn met Donald Antonio Blair Rivas Mercado and they were married in six months. The Blairs formed a family of four children, two dogs and a score of new Mexican, American and English relatives. Today they have 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. In 2011 they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. To write a book about Mexico had always been Kathryn’s dream. She was intrigued with stories about Don’s grandfather, the architect of Mexico’s Independent Monument, known by all as the “Angel”. When she discovered that her husband’s mother, Antonieta Rivas Mercado, had committed suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, a scandal hushed by the family, her husband included, for thirty years, she found her heroine. This led to twenty years of tracing Antonieta’s footsteps. A defender of women’s rights, brilliant and independent, heiress of a fortune, Antonieta was the center of a postrevolutionary group of young writers, painters, poets, musicians and playwrights eager to join the modern world. Today, Kathryn’s book has triggered official recognition of Antonieta as the prime promoter of Mexico’s modern culture. Felipe Calderón, the President of Mexico, called her “our national Angel”. Kathryn says that life began again at 75, today she is 91 And adds: Never stop dreaming.

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