I was born in Santiago, Chile in 1957, and raised principally in Mexico City. I trained as an anthropologist, but have also taught in History, Sociology, and Humanities departments.  I've written a number of books on culture and politics - all set in Mexico.  The ones that I am most proud of are Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005), and The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (Zone Books, 2014).

In addition to my academic work, I write regularly for the press.  I write a bimonthly column in the Mexico City daily La Jornada, and a monthly column in Nexos.  In the past few years, I have also become involved in dramaturgical writing, in collaboration with Alberto Lomnitz.  Our play El verdadero Bulnes won Mexico's National Dramaturgy Award in 2010, and our most recent work, Mamá Rosa: El musical, will be set to stage by Mexico's Compañía Nacional de Teatro in 2018.