In this intriguing and accessible book, Tyler Cowen explores the world of three amate artists, painting on paper made from the bark of trees from the mulberry family. Amate painting is an indigenous art form but one sold almost exclusively to wealthy North American art buyers or patrons. Cowen examines this cultural interaction between Mexico and the United States, showing how globalization shapes the lives and work of the artists and their families. He finds that, while the market for amate painting creates economic opportunities for the artists, it also has serious detrimental effects on the village.
"Examines the lives of several Mexican painters . . . Uses their experiences to explore themes of liberty versus power and to address the question of how poor rural communities develop and grow richer and how the globalization of culture affects diversity and the cultural voices of the poor."
—Journal of Economic Literature