Five Families Author:Oscar Lewis The author takes the reader into the lives of five different Mexican families for one entire day, so that the reader can see how it is that they live their lives. The families are both rural and urban and represent a cross-section of Mexico at the time that this book was written. All but one of the families portrayed are poor, yet they all share... more » some similar characteristics.
Written during the nineteen fifties, this book is, for the most part, a look at a culture of poverty. It is also a look at a culture that is in transition, shifting from rural to urban with its often resulting poverty and pathology. Yet, it is also a culture into which North American material comforts and influence were making inroads. That then nascent influence is often reflected in even the poorest of the families laid bare here.
The author basically gives the reader a typical day in the lives of each of these families. It is an intimate, objective look that creates a fascinating family portrait. It is a totally engrossing work of not only anthropological import but of historical value, as well. The author has managed to freeze in time a segment of Mexican life during the nineteen fifties. Who would have thought that reading about people shopping, preparing meals, and talking about their relationships would prove to be so fascinating?
Those who are interested in other cultures, as well as the way people live their lives, will really enjoy this book. The author provides a fascinating, freeze-frame glimpse into the lives of others. I simply loved this book. Bravo!« less