Thursday, May 06, 2010

Burton Kirkwood's Mistakes

I just finished Burton Kirkwood's The History of Mexico (2nd Edition). There are a few bad mistakes.

First of all, on page 6, he asserts that 92.7% of Mexicans speak only Spanish. 5.7% speak both Spanish and one of the indigenous dialects, and 8% speak only an indigenous dialect. Now, I'm no math whiz, but those three exclusive figures add up to over 100%. And it can't be a typo because there's no way any of those figures are only one digit off.

Second, on page 11, Kirkwood states, "In return Mexico has contributed to sports in the United States, with football- or soccer, as it is known in the United States- and basketball becoming some of the fastest-growing team sports." I had no idea that the popularity of basketball in Mexico was the reason it's so popular now in the U.S. Thanks, Mexico!

The first edition was published in 2000 and the second edition was published this year. In what was the final chapter of the first edition, Kirkwood consistently uses a verb tense as if Zedillo and the PRI were still in power until the final paragraph. Lazy.

And finally, if you read pages 209 and 213, you'll find something interesting. Both contain the exact same paragraph, beginning with, "The issue of what to do with undocumented Mexican immigrants..." On page 209, this passage is stuck after one sentence, whereas it stands alone on page 213.

Everyone makes mistakes, but hopefully you avoid them in your published book. Especially when it's your second edition. Ultimately, the blame lies with the author, but his editors clearly failed him. The series editors are listed as Frank W. Thackeray and John E. Findling. They deserve a dubious shout-out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

he feels like a douche