Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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With a new introduction by the author

Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith

In Mexico City on the night of October 2, 1968, at least two hundred students—among thousands protesting election fraud and campaigning for university reform—were shot dead in a bloody showdown with government troops in Tlatelolco Square. The bodies were collected and trucked away and the cobblestones washed clean. Hundreds more were arrested, and imprisoned for years. To this day, no one has been held accountable for the acts of savagery and these events are nowhere to be found in official histories. One member of the crowd that night, Paco Taibo, would become an international literary figure. ’68 is his account of the events of October 2, and of the student movement that preceded them. In provocative, anecdotal prose, Taibo claims for history “one more of the many unredeemed and sleepless ghosts that live in our lands.”

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“As the impact of the student revolt in Paris in May 1968 reverberated throughout the world and governments became increasingly reactive, 200 protesting students were murdered in Tlatelolco Square by government military police, and hundreds more were arrested and jailed. In the days and weeks following, the corpses of the slain students disappeared, the facts were contorted by government-controlled media, and reality turned to myth. Today, over 35 years later, much of the truth remains uncovered, but Taibo’s memoir goes a long way toward setting the record straight.”

“The real enchantment of Mr. Taibo's storytelling art lies in the 'wild and melancholy' tango of life he sees everywhere.”

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Paco Ignacio Taibo II, author of more than fifty books, is a distinguished historian and essayist. He is also renowned worldwide for his detective novels. His numerous literary honors include three Hammett Prizes, a Planeta prize for the best historical novel, and the Bancarella Prize for his biography of Che Guevara. In December 2018, Taibo was named director of the Mexican government’s national publishing house, Fondo de Cultura Economica, by the new Obrador administration.