Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico

Nav:Home > Central America > Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico

Press: Futura; New Ed edition (1991)


The Maya of Central America have been called the Greeks of the New World. 
In the first millennium A.D.
they created the most intellectually and artistically advanced civilization of the Americas.
In ensuing centuries, as neighbouring empires fell in warfare and the Spanish Invasion swept across their continent, the Maya endured, shaken but never destroyed.
Ronald Wright's journey through time and space takes him to the lands of the ancient Maya, as well as among the five million people who speak Mayan languages and preserve a Mayan identity today.
His travels take him to tiny Belize, the jungles and mountains of Guatemala -- bloodstained by a recent civil war -- and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Embracing history, politics, anthropology, and literature, Time among the Maya is both a fascinating travel memoir and the study of a great civilization.

From Library Journal

Wright takes us along to ancient and modern sites inhabited by Mayan Indians in Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico and concludes that the Maya are not facing extinction from the onslaught of "civilization" into their areas, but, on the contrary are surviving as they always have, by grafting new ways onto an ancient base. 
Spanish conquistadors found cities in America which far surpassed anything in Europe--with tall buildings and an accurate calendar.
While the book offers a fine overview of Mayan civilization, it is not for the faint-hearted: It is quite scholarly.
Readers interested in the calendar and the Mayan time reference will find this book valuable.
For large and special collections.- Louise Leonard, Univ.
of Florida Lib., GainesvilleCopyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“One of Wright’s many achievements is to arouse in his readers a sense of political rage without inducing cynicism and despair. 
He manages this delicate feat by juxtaposing recent events with stories from Mexican and Guatemalan history, and from the pre-Conquest period of Mayan life—as well as by means of some wry, deprecating anecdotes about his own travels.
To read this book is to swim through several different times.” - The Gazette (Montreal)“Outstanding….
Wright draws on his experience to make the old Maya as real as the new Guatemalans and it is all delivered with great style.” - The Sunday Times (London)"Mr.
Wright’s narrative blends anthropology, archaeology, history, and politics with his own entertaining excursions and encounters, and, without any visible didactic effort, he teaches us a lot about the ways that culture endures.” - The New Yorker“Ronald Wright is a superb travel writer, erudite, humorous, without bias, equipped with a true historian’s nose.” - The Observer (London)“Any account of the modern-day Maya must be a tapestry, weaving together past glories and present destitution.
Ronald Wright has managed admirably … a skilful marriage of history, archaeology and reportage.” - The Baltimore Sun“Mr.
Wright offers a rich, almost Keatsian prose that often makes picture books seem rigid snatches at reality….
Whether he leads us into Guatemala City or a tiny village or a restaurant, we can count on everything being exactly the way he describes it and much better than we could have described it ourselves.” - The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)“Excellent….
Wright combines super research on the Mayan past with a passionate concern for Central America’s present, in a book that is informative on every page….
An important account.” - The Kansas City Star"Time Among the Maya will firmly establish Wright as one of the most thoughtful and informative writers in the genre.” - Quill & Quire“Time Among the Maya is an intelligent, balanced, warm, and often wise book.
Ronald Wright has the ability to see, feel, and simultaneously begin to understand a time and place far different from our own.
And he has the talent to describe for others the world he has found.” - The Globe and Mail“A brilliant, highly engaging travelogue, sparkling with wit, incisive observation, and sheer good writing….
Wright is the ideal traveling companion.” - Toronto Star“Fine research and descriptive powers.” - The New York Times Book Review“In his lively account … Wright deftly weaves the past into the present in a fascinating tale of Mayan endurance in the face of Spanish conquistadores and modern death squads.” - Maclean’s

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ronald Wright is the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of several non-fiction books, including A Short History of Progress, Stolen Continents (which won the Gordon Montador Award), and Cut Stones and Crossroads. 
He is also the author of the novels Henderson's Spear and A Scientific Romance, the latter of which won Britain's David Higham Prize for Fiction.
He was born in England, educated at Cambridge, and now lives in British Columbia.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Travel,Central America,Guatemala,Mexico,General,Reference,Writing, Research & Publishing Guides,Writing,Travel

 PDF Download And Online Read: Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico



Comment List (Total:13)

  •     I can't believe how disappointed I was in reading this book. It was boring and the style was incredibly poor.
  •     Wright has done the modern Maya a service by calling attention to their continued existence.However, he seems infatuated with antiquity and the signs of its persistence and fails, sometimes in serious ways, to account for the nobility of the modern Maya's grim and successful struggle to survive.Wright also can't help slipping in "green" comments and digs at multi-nationals, stupid governments (oxymoron), and exploitative ladinos. These targets are too easy. For example, he sloughs off milpa agriculture almost entirely and even comes close to lamenting the "death of the forests" that some misguided types think it causes.What causes over-farming is over-population and neither I nor Wright will convince the Maya to let infant mortality assert itself again since its virtual demise in the last two decades.Wright does, however, have a feel for the Maya and that makes his book a worthy contribution. His search for X-Cacal Guardia and the resultant events should lead readers to study Yucatan's Caste War and further consider the Modern Maya's view of themselves.
  •     I purchased this book to learn a bit more about the Maya before I take a trip to visit ancient Maya sites this fall. The book does present some interesting information on the ancient Maya, particularly, their calendar and system of time. It spends more time discussing the problems faced by the Maya of today, which is enlightening, but I feel it spends too much time discussing politics and what is wrong with the governments in Maya lands today than what I need to prepare for my trip. I do feel that an understanding of the situation is important to have before visiting a third world country; I just find this a bit overburdening in light of what I need and want to know, especially since it reflects the situation in 1985. It does not tell me what to expect TODAY.
  •     A travel book, with culture and policitcs woven in, but not too heavily. Geography, environment, and a collection of characters encountered along the way, a fascinating book on several levels. Also in the fabric of the book is a discussion of how the Mayans keep time, what happened to them as a culture and people, as well as what their future might be. But is it all done with excellent writing, none of it too academic or dry, all interesting, with great writing artistry. A very good book. Simple and powerful. A good read if you have any interest in this area of the world or the Mayans.
  •     Ronald Wright takes us to Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan, visiting various archeological sites and people along the way. This is a great travelogue with lots of history included. It is well researched including a glossary, notes, bibliography and index for the reader who wants to delve deeper. Good reading if you're planning on going to this part of the world.
  •     I read this pretty quickly. There's no problem with knowing what the author is trying to say. I found the representation to be a little full of sad satire and sorry history...
  •     Ronald Wright makes no pretense of writing an academic study of the Mayan culture of Guatemala and surrounding areas.
  •     Republished edition is one of the best and most comprehensive impressions of the era - during the Guatemalan Civil War - and its effects on the Maya populations in the surrounding...
  •     Well written and endlessly fascinating.
  •     Time among the Maya, Ronald WrightThis is a charming travelogue, particularly if you have experienced travel to some of the Maya Indian sites. Ronald Wright has given us an insight that could only be possible from someone who has spent considerable time and research into the politics and plight of the Maya people. There are some helpful maps for orientation. The writing is like a daily journal, which is charming in its observations and the attempts at a phonetic impression of the speech of the various populations that he encounters in his journey. There are references to some of the masterworks of more early explorers, such as John L. Stephens, with excellent drawings by Catherwood (Dover Publications), and the helpful translation of Popol Vuh by Dennis Tedlock. Ronald Wright gives us "food for thought" about the terrible things that have occurred in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, as various political factions have battled for control.
  •     At first this book appears to be merely a travelogue of Wright's journeys through the Maya areas of Mexico and Central America. Sure, he gives us the goods on the ancient Maya ruins and archeological treasures, plus a lot of great historical coverage, but these turn out to be the background of a much larger narrative. Instead, Wright spends the bulk of his time visiting with the local people, both modern Mayas and non-Mayas who inhabit these regions today. Therefore we get an excellent sociological study on these peoples. I was surprised to learn of the large numbers of Maya that still exist, not just as an ancient fringe religious group, but as a sizeable portion of the populations of Guatemala, Belize, and Southern Mexico. Unfortunately these people still deal with the fallout of nearly 500 years of oppression, and continuing discrimination today. Their resulting hardships are a major focus of the book. Wright also has a flair for picking out offbeat and enjoyable characters among the people he meets, like the nearly-Rasta mestizos of Belize and a variety of befuddled and naïve traveling companions. Wright could stand to be a little less biased at times, especially in the portion of the book that deals with Guatemala. Wright gets really carried away in describing this dreary nation as a hopeless hellhole. This characterization is probably not too far from reality, but impartiality is missing at times in this book. (Note that this was written back in the mid-80's, though it's doubtful if much has changed since then). Also, pictures of the many fascinating areas Wright visited would be a nice addition to this book. You have to rely on Wright's descriptions instead, although he does a pretty good job. Ultimately, this book is less a standard travelogue than an entertaining and very enlightening sociological study on a people who are still going strong even though their culture "collapsed" (in Western eyes) centuries and centuries ago.
  •     Classic, essential, practical. Don't leave home for Maya lands without it.
  •     Yes, I love this book. I have not finished it yet, nonetheless I can taste the experience, it is so good.

Relation Books


Travel Writing,Pictorial,Europe,South America,Middle East,Africa,Polar Regions,Central America Book,。 OnlineBook 

OnlineBook @ 2018