Fondo de Cultura Económica

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Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE or simply “Fondo”) is a Spanish language, non-profit publishing group, partly founded by the Mexican government. It is based in Mexico but it has subsidiaries throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

It was founded in 1934 by Daniel Cosío Villegas with the original purpose of providing students of economics from the Escuela Nacional de Economía with specialized books in Spanish. Soon, it expanded its interests to other subjects: humanities, literature (mostly works written in Spanish), popular science, children’s books and literature for young adults.

FCE’s backlist encompasses more than ten thousand volumes, approximately 5,000 of which are still in print, and it has an electronic catalog of more than 1,300 titles. Due to its wide reach it has had a deep influence on several generations of Latin American readers. FCE has published the books of 65 authors who were awarded with the Nobel Prize; 33 authors awarded with the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, 29 authors honored by the Princess of Asturias Awards, and over 140 authors who were awarded the Mexican National Prize for Arts and Sciences.

The word Económica [“economical”] in its name does not allude to the low sales price of its books, actually a permanent goal of this publishing house, but to the aforementioned initial objective of publishing works on economics. Moreover, the Mexican government provides resources to partially cover the costs of production, allowing books to be comparatively more affordable.

In Mexico, FCE has a chain of 27 bookstores in cities like Aguascalientes, Apatzingán, Mexico City, Nezahualcóyotl, Colima, Durango, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Morelia, Saltillo and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In 2016, FCE will open bookstores in Villahermosa and Toluca.

Fondo de Cultura Económica has 8 foreign branches in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, the United States, Guatemala and Peru, which cover the Spanish-speaking population from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Moreover, FCE has representative offices in: Bolivia, Canada, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, besides having distribution partners in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay.

It publishes three periodicals: El Trimestre Económico, founded a few months before FCE itself; La Gaceta, founded in 1954, and Diánoia (jointly published by FCE and the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM), in circulation since 1955.

Fondo annually or biennially organizes five prizes and competitions for authors, illustrators and readers: Concurso Leamos la Ciencia para Todos, Concurso de Álbum Ilustrado A la Orilla del Viento, the Premio Hispanoamericano de Poesía para Niños (together with the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas), the Premio Internacional de Divulgación de la Ciencia Ruy Pérez Tamayo, and the Concurso Iberoamericano de Ensayo para Jóvenes.

In 1989 FCE was awarded the Princess of Asturias Awards in the category of Communications and Humanities as recognition for its work in Spanish-speaking countries. In 1987, La Gaceta earned the Mexican Premio Nacional de Periodismo.

History[edit]

Thanks to its authors, editors, and translators, Fondo de Cultura Económica has an 80-year history of being a leading participant in the higher education system and cultural and literary movements of Mexico and Latin America. Among those who have shaped FCE’s history are distinguished authors like Alfonso Reyes, Juan Rulfo, Juan José Arreola, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Pellicer, Raimundo Lida, José Gorostiza, Alí Chumacero, Salvador Elizondo, Ramón Xirau, Juan Goytisolo, Camilo José Cela, Luis Rosales, María Zambrano, Miguel Delibes, Ricardo Piglia, Gonzalo Rojas, Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Gelman, Nicanor Parra, Álvaro Mutis, Alejo Carpentier, Sergio Pitol, Elena Garro, Rosario Castellanos, Elena Poniatowska, and Fernando del Paso.

1929 First publication of the journal Economía, sponsored by the Asociación de Banqueros and directed by Miguel Palacios Macedo during its first year, and by Daniel Cosío Villegas during its second year. The School of Economic Studies (forerunner of the Escuela Nacional de Economía) is established at the Department of Law of the Universidad Nacional de México.

1931 Cosío Villegas proposes the Aguilar and Espasa-Calpe publishing houses to issue works in economics. He presents them a list of 50 well-classified titles, which they both refuse, the latter largely due to the disapproval of José Ortega y Gasset.

1934 In April, publication of the first issue of El Trimestre Económico, an academic journal jointly directed by Cosío Villegas and Eduardo Villaseñor with the aim of providing translations and original articles on the subject. It is sponsored by Alberto Mizrachi. On September 3, a trust is registered in the name of Fondo de Cultura Económica at the Banco Nacional Hipotecario Urbano y de Obras Públicas with 22,000 pesos (5,000 from the Secretaría de Hacienda; 10,000 from the Banco de México; 4,000 from the Banco Nacional Hipotecario Urbano y de Obras Públicas; 2,000 from the Banco Nacional de Crédito Agrícola y Ganadero; and 1,000 from the Banco Nacional de México), with the sole purpose of publishing “the works of Mexican and foreign economists and to enter into agreements with publishers and booksellers to purchase and sell works on relevant economic issues.” A governing board is established, and Manuel Gómez Morin, Gonzalo Robles, Adolfo Prieto, Daniel Cosío Villegas, Eduardo Villasenor, and Emigdio Martinez Adame are its first members. A small office in 32 Madero Street, downtown Mexico City, precisely at the Banco Nacional Hipotecario Urbano y de Obras Públicas, serves as its headquarters. José C. Vazquez, editor and typographer, starts working at the publishing house.

1935 First volumes published: Silver Dollars, by William P. Shea and Harold J. Laski’s Karl Marx, two translations made by the renowned writers Salvador Novo and Antonio Castro Leal, respectively. FCE’s logo, designed by Francisco Díaz de León (usually attributed to José Moreno Villa), is printed on the covers of both volumes. Gómez Morin and Prieto are replaced on the governing board by Jesus Silva Herzog and Enrique Sarro.

1937 Daniel Cosío Villegas is officially appointed first CEO.

1938 Foundation of the Casa de España en México, latter known as Colegio de México. Both FCE and Casa de España start a productive partnership of joint publications (now their offices are neighboring buildings in Mexico City).

1939 First history books published by FCE. Several refugees from the Spanish Republican exile join FCE’s Technical Department as consultants, editors, translators, and trainers, a cooperation which lasted for generations and included José Gaos, Ramón Iglesia, José Medina Echavarría, Eugenio Ímaz, Manuel Pedroso, Javier Márquez, Sindulfo de la Fuente, Luis Alaminos, Vicente Herrero, Joaquín Díez-Canedo, and Francisco Giner. In August Begins the publication of Noticiero Bibliográfico.

1940 FCE moves to 63 Pánuco Street, an office shared with Casa de España. The Tezontle collection is launched.

1941 The first Catálogo General is published.

1942 The Philosophy collection is launched, at first advised by José Gaos, Eugenio Ímaz, and Eduardo García Maynes. Its first volume is Werner Wilhelm Jaeger’s Paideia: los ideales de la cultura griega. Joaquín Díez-Canedo joins FCE’s Technical Department. The Anthropology collection is launched under the direction of Alfonso Caso and Daniel Rubin de la Borbolla. The first Catálogo General is published.

1944 In February, the Banco de México is appointed FCE’s trustee.

1944 The first volumes of the Tierra Firme collection are published.

1945 Foundation of the Buenos Aires branch, directed by Arnaldo Orfila Reynal. The second Catálogo general is published.

1946 At the request of Cosío Villegas, Pedro Henríquez Ureña proposes a plan to create the Biblioteca Americana collection. Antonio Alatorre and Juan José Arreola, two important authors, join the Technical Department.

1947 Translated by Adrian Recinos, the Popol Vuh is the first volume of Biblioteca Americana, a collection created by Pedro Henriquez Ureña. The volume is published in his memory.

1948 Cosío Villegas leaves the direction of FCE and Orfila Reynal takes office, at first on an interim basis. The Breviarios collection is launched and Noticiero Bibliográfico begins its second series.

1950 Directed by Raimundo Lida, the Lengua y Estudios Literarios collection is launched.

1951 - 1957 The complete works of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz published for the first time, edited by Alfonso Méndez Plancarte.

1952 With Alfonso Reyes’s Obra poética FCE launches the Letras Mexicanas collection, focused on the dissemination of Mexican literatura.

1954 FCE’s second branch in Santiago de Chile inaugurated. Upon reaching its 20th anniversary, FCE moves to its own building, at 975 Av. Universidad, at the corner of Parroquia, in Mexico City. On September 10, President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines inaugurates the new headquarters. First issue of La Gaceta del Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1955 Publication of Alfonso Reyes’s Obras completas begins. First issue of the journal Diánoia, directed by Eduardo Nicol. First edition of Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo.

1956 Vida y Pensamiento de México collection launched with Fernando Benítez’s Ki: El drama de un pueblo y una planta, and Mauricio Magdaleno’s Las palabras perdidas.

1958 First volume of Mariano Azuela’s Obras Completas. First edition of Carlos Fuentes’s novel La región más transparente.

1959 FCE publishes the first edition of Octavio Paz’s classic El laberinto de la soledad. The Colección Popular is born with the reissue of Juan Rulfo’s El llano en llamas, first published in Letras Mexicanas collection in 1953.

1961 Third international branch opening in Lima, Peru.

1962 With the experience obtained after years in the Technical Department, Joaquín Díez-Canedo leaves the FCE and founds the Joaquín Mortiz publishing house.

1963 Fourth branch opens in Madrid, Spain, directed by Javier Pradera. Rodolfo Usigli’s Teatro completo starts publication.

1965 In November, Arnaldo Orfila Reynal leaves the direction of the FCE following a controversy promoted by the government of President Díaz Ordaz for the publication of works such as Oscar Lewis’s Los hijos de Sánchez, and Charles Wright Mills’s Escucha Yanqui. Salvador Azuela is appointed CEO. Orfila founds Siglo XXI Editores.

1970 Salvador Azuela leaves the direction in December and Antonio Carrillo Flores is appointed.

1971 During the first two months, the first issue of La Gaceta del Fondo de Cultura Economica’s “new series” appears, directed by Jaime García Terrés.

1972 Edited by Alí Chumacero, a new Catálogo general is published. A new bookstore opens in Mexico City. Opening of the new representative office in Puerto Rico. Carrillo Flores leaves the management and Francisco Javier Alejo is appointed in October.

1974 A new branch opens in Caracas, Venezuela. Another bookstore opens in Greater Mexico City and four more within the country. Guillermo Ramirez Hernandez is appointed deputy director in December.

1975 A new branch opens in Bogota, Colombia, with the goal of importing works published by FCE and act as a marketer. The journal El Trimestre Político is launched but releases only five issues.

1976 Alejo and Ramirez leave direction; José Luis Martinez is appointed CEO in December.

1982 Jaime García Terrés replaces José Luis Martinez in the management. Octavio Paz’s important essay Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz o las trampas de la fe is published.

1983 The Lecturas Mexicanas collection is launched in a combined effort between FCE and the Secretaría de Educación Pública.

1984 Celebrating its 50th anniversary, FCE publishes Libro conmemorativo del primer medio siglo.

1986 The La Ciencia desde México collection is launched (in 1997 it would change its name to La Ciencia para Todos).

1988 Enrique González Pedrero is appointed CEO.

1990 The former Mexican president Miguel de la Madrid replaces González Pedrero as CEO. FCE’s US branch in San Diego, California, begins operations.

1991 New branch in São Paulo, Brazil. A la Orilla del Viento, a new collection focused on children’s literature, publishes its first volume: Pascuala Corona’s El pozo de los ratones y otros cuentos al calor del fogón.

1992 Located in the Carretera Picacho-Ajusco and designed by architect Teodoro González de León, FCE’s new headquarters are inaugurated.

1993 Launch of Octavio Paz’s Obras completas (Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990), in 15 volumes.

1994 Commemorating its 60th anniversary, FCE publishes its third Catálogo histórico and Víctor Díaz Arciniegas’s Historia de la casa. Fondo de Cultura Económica (1934-1994).

1995 To meet the needs of Central America and the Caribbean markets, FCE opens its ninth branch in Guatemala.

2000 Gonzalo Celorio replaces Miguel de la Madrid as CEO in December. A new bookstore opens inside the premises of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional. In July, the Daniel Cosío Villegas bookstore reopens after renovation.

2002 Consuelo Sáizar Guerrero is appointed new CEO. La Gaceta is now available online.

2003 Two new collections created: Obras Reunidas, which releases Sergio Pitol’s volume I, and Libros sobre Libros, with books for publishing professionals. The Ricardo Pozas bookstore opens in Querétaro, the Efraín Huerta bookstore opens in León and the Luis González y González bookstore opens in Morelia; in Greater Mexico City, FCE opens the Trinidad Martínez Tarragó bookstore at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE).

2004 FCE commemorates its 70th anniversary by creating the Colección Conmemorativa, a selection of some of its classic titles. FCE’s most emblematic collections are redesigned and Juan Pablo Rulfo redraws the publishing house’s logo.

2005 In October, with the fourth reprint of its third edition inside the Colección Popular collection of Octavio Paz’s El laberinto de la soledad, Posdata y Vuelta a El laberinto de la soledad, FCE prints the one hundred millionth copy since its founding.

2006 The Centro Cultural Bella Época in Mexico City is opened, which houses the Rosario Castellanos bookstore, the Luis Cardoza y Aragón gallery and the Lido cinema.

2007 First title of the Poesía collection is Alí Chumacero’s, Palabras en reposo. The collection is created to draw attention to the genre.

2008 A new building to house FCE’s branch in Colombia is inaugurated: the Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez on the historic downtown of Bogotá. The building is the last work of Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona. FCE’s back catalog begins its digitalization process.

2009 Joaquín Díez-Canedo Flores is appointed new CEO in March. On the occasion of FCE’s 75th anniversary the Congreso Internacional del Mundo del Libro is held. The fourth edition of José Emilio Pacheco’s Tarde o temprano (Poemas 1958-2009) inside the Poesía collection is published.

2010 During the bicentennial of independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, FCE publishes Martín Luis Guzmán’s Obras completas, and all seven volumes of Historia crítica de las modernizaciones de México, a joint publication with CIDE, as well as Alan Knight’s La Revolución Mexicana. First Feria del Libro Independiente held at the Rosario Castellanos bookstore. In December, FCE begins selling e-books in ePub format. The Edmundo O’Gorman bookstore opens in the premises of the Archivo General de la Nación.

2011 Publication of Juan Gelman’s Poesía reunida, and of a facsimile edition of the 17 classics published by José Vasconcelos in the 1920s. Directed by Claudio Lomnitiz and Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo, the new Umbrales collection issues its first title. The e-book catalog breaks the 100 titles mark. An app based on the Animalario universal del professor Revillod is released. In February, the José María Luis Mora bookstore opens in Mixcoac, and in November, the Miguel de la Madrid bookstore opens at Colima’s Casa de Cultura.

2012 FCE develops an app for Paloma Valdivia’s children’s book Es así.

2013 In January José Carreño Carlón is appointed CEO. The José Revueltas bookstore opens in Durango. La Gaceta is now available for iPad.

2014 FCE celebrates its 80th anniversary with the Festival el Libro y sus Lectores, which held the Feria del Libro Latinoamericano; a symposium entitled “Los libros que hacen crecer a los lectores”; the International Seminar “El libro electrónico y sus lectores”; the A la Orilla del Viento Carnival and the Encuentro de BookTubers. The Breviarios collection is relaunched and the newly created Comunicación collection releases its first titles. New editions of Octavio Paz’s Obras completas, Efraín Huerta’s Poesía completa, and José Revueltas’s Errores published within the celebrations for the centenary of the three Mexican writers. Publication of Thomas Piketty’s El capital en el siglo XXI. FCE has now available for sale a thousand different e-books and the iOS and Android app Archivo abierto: ochenta años del FCE is released. The Guillermo Tovar de Teresa bookstore opens in Mexico City and the José Emilio Pacheco bookstore is inaugurated in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, inside the Centro Cultural Universitario Balún Canán. The Ricardo Pozas bookstore in Querétaro closes its doors to be replaced in 2016 by a new store named after Hugo Gutiérrez Vega, result of a partnership between FCE and the State’s Universidad Autónoma.

2015 The tenth branch, the Centro Cultural Carlos Fuentes in Quito, Ecuador, is inaugurated, after twenty years without any new foreign subsidiaries. In February, in collaboration with the Government of the State of Michoacán and the Municipal Government of Apatzingán, a new bookstore opens within the Centro Cultural of Apatzingán.

CEOs[edit]

CEOs Term
Daniel Cosío Villegas 1934–1948
Arnaldo Orfila Reynal 1948–1965
Salvador Azuela 1965–1970
Antonio Carrillo Flores 1970–1972
Francisco Javier Alejo 1972–1974
Guillermo Ramírez Hernández 1974–1976
José Luis Martínez 1977–1982
Jaime García Terrés 1982–1988
Enrique González Pedrero 1988–1990
Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado 1990–2000
Gonzalo Celorio 2000–2002
Consuelo Sáizar Guerrero 2002–2009
Joaquín Díez-Canedo Flores 2009-2013
José Carreño Carlón 2013-
José Carreño Carlón Joaquín Díez-Canedo Flores Consuelo Sáizar Guerrero Gonzalo Celorio Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado Enrique González Pedrero Jaime García Terrés José Luis Martínez Rodríguez Guillermo Ramírez Hernández Francisco Javier Alejo Antonio Carrillo Flores Salvador Azuela Arnaldo Orfila Reynal Daniel Cosío Villegas

Releases[edit]

Collections[edit]

FCE’s backlist encompasses more than ten thousand titles, among which five thousand remain available (i.e., reprinted or in stock). Its catalogue is organized in over 100 collections, among which are: 

A la Orilla del Viento focuses on short stories for children, grouped not by age but by reading abilities: “For children learning to read”, “For children beginning to read”, “For children who read well”, and “For great readers.” This collection has published titles such as Francisco Hinojosa’s La peor señora del mundo; Anne Fine’s El diario de un gato asesino; Juan Villoro’s Las golosinas secretas; and M. B. Brozon’s Alguien en la ventana. Through its subseries Los Especiales a la Orilla del Viento, FCE publishes picture books in which text and image blend in a powerful unity, both for babies and adults. Other titles are Jumanji by Chris van Allsburg; El juego de las formas by Anthony Browne; Ian Falconer’s Olivia; and Isol’s Recetario de sueños.

A través del Espejo is a collection for young readers leaving behind the world of children’s books and looking for different places to discover, through the mirror of words in books that reflect on the human condition. Some titles are Kevin Brooks’s Lucas; Ricardo Chávez Castañeda’s Fernanda y los mundos secretos; Tahereh Mafi’s La piel de Juliette; and Amos Oz’s La bicicleta de Sumji.

Administración Pública features highlights on the concept, scope and dynamics of public administration, studies on institutions and state organizations, and analyses of governance systems and government administration in comparative dimensions. This collection seeks a balance between works of perennial historical value and those that best expose contemporary issues. Outstanding works of this collection are titles such as Charles-Jean Bonnin’s Principios de administración pública; and Giandomenico Majone’s Evidencia, argumentación y persuasion en la formulación de políticas.

Antropología assembles important works on anthropological theory, particularly on American anthropology. Some highlights of this collection are Alfonso Caso’s El pueblo del sol; Oscar Lewis’s, Los hijos de Sánchez; James George Frazer’s La rama dorada; and Roger Bartra’s Antropología del cerebro.

Archivos, under the care of leading experts and academics, provides critical editions of major Latin American literature works from the Spanish, French and Portuguese languages. Several institutes and cultural organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Peru and Portugal, as well as Unesco, have contributed to Archivos’s projects. Some of its most important titles are Miguel Ángel Asturias’s Hombres de maíz; Clarice Lispector’s La pasión según G. H. | A paixão segundo G. H.; José Lezama Lima’s Paradiso; Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela; and Vicente Huidobro’s Obra poética.

Aula Atlántica, coordinated by Julio Ortega and especially directed to Spanish literature students in the US, brings together basic texts of American literature, both classic and contemporary, with prefaces and notes to help understand and appreciate the works. Some of its highlights include Todos los fuegos el fuego by Julio Cortázar; Beatus ille by Antonio Muñoz Molina; and Antología poética by Antonio Cisneros.

Biblioteca Americana, devised by Pedro Henríquez Ureña as the reservoir of the essential works from the Americas, both historical and literary, draws together meticulous editions of pre-Hispanic writers, chroniclers, novohispano writers, independent America writers and even works of twentieth-century authors. Some notable titles are Bartolome de las Casas’s Historia de las Indias; Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s Obras completas; Henríquez Ureña’s Las corrientes literarias en la América hispánica; and Guatemala. Las líneas de su mano by Luis Cardoza y Aragón. It has a subseries called Viajes al Siglo XIX devoted to nineteenth-century Mexico, which includes anthologies such as De Coyoacán a la Quinta Avenida by José Juan Tablada, and La Revolución y la Fe by fray Servando Teresa de Mier.

Biblioteca de la Salud emerged as the result of a joint-publishing agreement entered by the Secretaría de Salud and Fondo de Cultura Económica in order to issue classics, handbooks and other informative texts on medical, dental, and health sciences, aimed at both the specialist and to anyone related to or interested in the administration of social security. This collection consists of six series: Clásicos de la Salud, Lecturas, Métodos, Fronteras, Formación e Información, and Testimonios. Some of its volumes are William H. Beveridge’s Las bases de la seguridad social, Marihuana y salud, by Juan Ramon de la Fuente (ed.); and Vericuetos en la investigación y desarrollo de vacunas by Guillermo Soberón and Jesus Kumate.

Biblioteca Universitaria de Bolsillo (also known as BUB) provides students with volumes in pocket editions on literature, the humanities and science. Some examples are G. K. Chesterton’s El hombre que fue Jueves (pesadilla), translated by Alfonso Reyes; Federico Gamboa’s Santa; Edmundo O’Gorman’s, La invención de América; Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s Aforismos, translated by Juan Villoro; and Peter Medawar’s Consejos a un joven científico.

Breviarios, one of FCE’s most renowned collections, offers introductory texts and monographs on a variety of topics. It is divided in seven series, visually identified by color. Magenta: art; orange: literature and literary studies; light green: history; violet: philosophy; blue: social sciences; yellow: science and technology; and dark green: economics. In 2014, on FCE’s 80th anniversary, it was relaunched with a selection of 80 titles (70 reprints and 10 new volumes). Some of its most emblematic works are C. M. Bowra’s Historia de la literatura griega; Michel Foucault’s Historia de la locura en la época clásica; Aaron Copland’s Cómo escuchar la música, and Thomas S. Kuhn’s La estructura de las revoluciones científicas.

Centzontle, an allusion to the “bird of a thousand voices”, and a symbol of artistic diversity, mainly literary, this collection presents shorter works, “findings”, curiosities, sometimes “invented” books based on long prologues or different texts, both in the fields of literature and history and even science. Some of its titles are Azúcar negra. El negro mexicano blanqueado o borrado by Carmen Boullosa; Cabaret Provenza by Luis Felipe Fabre; Alba y ocaso de Porfiriato by Luis González y González; and Diez razones para ser científico by Ruy Pérez Tamayo.

Ciencia, Tecnología, Sociedad, FCE’s youngest science collection began with the purpose of issuing works —originally written in Spanish but also translated from other languages— relevant in Ibero-America in the field of education and research as well as in continuing education, with the ultimate goal of promoting a deeper reflection on how science and technology are related to society. Some of its highlights are Práctica y ética de la euthanasia by Asunción Álvarez del Río; Del hombre como conejillo de Indias. El derecho a experimentar en seres humanos by Philippe Amiel; and La ciencia y la Tecnología en la sociedad del conocimiento. Ética, política y epistemología, by León Olivé.

Ciencia y Tecnología covers all the traditional fields of natural sciences: biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, and, most recently, ecology. It also includes representative books on contemporary scientific revolutions: neurobiology, computer science, cybernetics and genomics. Some examples are Roger Penrose’s La mente nueva del emperador; Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins’s ¿Qué son las matemáticas? Conceptos y métodos fundamentales, and Pierre Léna, Yves Quéré, and Béatrice Salviat’s 29 conceptos clave para disfrutar la ciencia.

Colección Popular, launched in September 1959 as part of FCE’s 25th anniversary celebrations, this collection issues pocket editions of works that have been enthusiastically received by readers, or that seek to reach the greatest possible number of readers with large print runs. Some of its titles are classics such as Octavio Paz’s El laberinto de la soledad; Mariano Azuela’s Los de abajo; Francisco Rojas González’s El diosero; Popol Vuh; Frantz Fanon’s Los condenados de la tierra; Carlos Castaneda’s Las enseñanzas de don Juan, and Seymour Menton’s El cuento hispanoamericano.

Comunicación was created in 2014 with the purpose of distributing a variety of classics and recent works in the field of communication studies, as well as other texts that allow wider audiences to understand communicative phenomena. The collection also seeks to foster dialogue between the various research centers and to join current debates among students, scholars and practitioners of its varied field. Some of its titles are John Durham Peters’s Hablar al aire. Una historia de la idea de comunicación; Klaus Bruhn Jensen’s La comunicación y los medios. Metodologías de investigación cualitativa y cuantitativa, and Celeste González de Bustamante’s “Muy buenas noches”. México, la television y la Guerra Fría.

Economía, FCE’s very first collection, has offered, right from the beginning, a combination of classic and cutting-edge texts on the discipline. Worth mentioning are titles such as Adam Smith’s Investigación sobre la naturaleza y causas de la riqueza de las naciones; Karl Marx’s El capital (in three volumes); John Maynard Keynes’s Teoría general de la ocupación, el interés y el dinero; and Thomas Piketty’s El capital en el siglo XXI.

Ediciones Científicas Universitarias, originally conceived as a joint project between FCE and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, offers teachers and undergraduate students general courses and specialized works on the various scientific disciplines to support academic training in the classrooms. This collection has two series: Texto Científico Universitario and Horizontes y Paradigmas en Ciencia y Tecnología. Some of its titles are Luis de la Peña’s Introducción a la mecánica cuántica; T. D. Pennington and Jose Sarukhan’s, Árboles tropicales de México. Manual para la identificación de las principales especies, and José Antonio García Barreto’s Astronomía básica.

Educación y Pedagogía, with works such as Las pedagogías del conocimiento by Louis Not, and Enseñanza y filosofía by Fernando Salmerón, initially had a strong philosophical profile, but then opened itself to topics that support the work of teachers in the classroom and published titles such as Xavier Roegiers’s Una pedagogía de la integración. Competencias e integración de los conocimientos en la enseñanza, as well as others that analyze, among other things, policies, institutions and financing of education as for example, Carlos Ornelas’s El Sistema educativo mexicano.

Espacios para la lectura bridges the field of education and current multidisciplinary research regarding written culture, so that teachers and other professionals in charge of instructing readers become aware of their role in the social fabric. Some notable works of the collection are Evelyn Arizpe and Morag Styles’s Lectura de imágenes. Los niños interpretan textos visuales; Teresa Colomer’s Andar entre libros. La lectura literaria en la escuela, and Jöelle Turin’s Los libros que hacen crecer a los niños.

Filosofía is one of FCE’s first collections to focus on a specific branch of knowledge. To date, it is one of the most consistent and important collections within its catalog, because of its combination of classic and innovative texts and even educational works. Some of its titles are John Locke’s, Ensayo sobre el entendimiento humano; G. W. F. Hegel’s Fenomenología del espíritu; Martin Heidegger’s El ser y el tiempo; John Rawls’s Teoría de la justicia, and Rolf Wiggershaus La Escuela de Fráncfort.

Historia, one of FCE’s oldest collections, provides works of historical value —usually with analytical studies, notes, and high-level research—, on world history and on history of Mexico and Latin America. Bound in a characteristic black jacket since the collection’s inception, some of its highlights are Erasmo y España by Marcel Bataillon; El Mediterráneo y el mundo mediterráneo en la época de Felipe II (in two volumes) by Fernand Braudel; La otra rebellion. La lucha por la independencia de México, 1810-1821 by Eric Van Young; Pueblo en vilo by Luis González y González; Orbe indiano. De la monarquía católica a la república criolla, 1492-1867 by David A. Brading; and La gran matanza de gatos y otros episodios en la historia de la cultura francesa by Robert Darnton.

La Ciencia para Todos, a collection originally named La Ciencia desde México, is composed of popular science texts written mainly by active researchers, leading in fields as diverse as quantum mechanics and medicine, algebra and organic chemistry, the sea and evolution. It is the biggest popular science collection in the Spanish language with 237 volumes as to November 2014. Some of its highlights are Alberto Orlandini’s El enamoramiento y el mal de amores; Luis Felipe Rodriguez’s El universe en expansion; José Sarukhan’s Las musas de Darwin, and Ruy Pérez Tamayo’s Acerca de Minerva.

Lengua y Estudios Literarios, a collection devised by Raimundo Lida, brings together works that address the various sides of language and literature, seeking a balance between philology, linguistics, literary history, and criticism, both classical and contemporary. Among its titles are Los 1001 años de la lengua española by Antonio Alatorre; El arco y la lira by Octavio Paz; Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis, and the ambitious Sintaxis histórica de la lengua Española, edited by Concepción Company Company.

Letras Mexicanas is in charge of issuing the literary production of Mexico. Some of Mexico’s most influential pieces of literature such as El llano en llamas by Juan Rulfo and La region más transparente by Carlos Fuentes were first published in this collection. Other important volumes are Salvador Elizondo’s Farabeuf and Fernando del Paso’s Noticias del Imperio. This collection also includes the complete works of Alfonso Reyes and Octavio Paz.

Libros sobre Libros offers book professionals the practical tools for their labor and reflections on the scope and limitations of their field. Among its most popular titles are classics such as La aparición del libro by Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, the new edition of El libro y sus orillas by Roberto Zavala Ruiz, Los elementos del estilo tipográfico by Robert Bringhurst, and Vender el alma. El oficio de librero by Romano Montroni.

Los Primerísimos is a collection of illustrated, shorter texts for children beginning to read that helps them discover and understand the world. It is intended to stimulate the early stages of reading development with intriguing graphics and literary proposals. Some examples are Isol’s Regalo sorpresa as well as Triunfo Arciniegas and Óscar Soacha’s El rabo de Paco.

Poesía is a collection that, since 2007, gathers virtually all poetry collections published by FCE. Its volumes range from contemporary classics such as Palabras en reposo by Alí Chumacero, Victor Sandoval’s Poesía reunida, and Jaime Sabines’s Antología poética, to the latest works of Latin American poets such as Óscar Hahn’s La primera oscuridad, Víctor Sosa’s Gladis Monogatari, and Jorge Humberto Chávez Te diría que fuéramos al Río Bravo a llorar pero debes saber que ya no hay río ni llanto.

Política y Derecho, as in other collections, gathers classics and new texts on political science, theory of law, and international affairs, such as John Locke’s Ensayo sobre el gobierno civil; Thomas Hobbes’s Leviatán: o la materia, forma y poder de una república, eclesiástica y civil, and Silvio Zavala’s Filosofía política de la conquista.

Psicología, Psiquiatría y Psicoanálisis, initially directed by Erich Fromm, the celebrated Viennese psychoanalyst, has issued the most influential theories in the fields of behavior and personality studies, from psychoanalysis and the wide range of schools around it —even anti-psychiatry— to the works devoted to the study of human intelligence and nosography. Jung, Adler, Frankl, De la Fuente, and Fromm himself are among the authors published in this collection, with works such as El cerebro soñado by J. Allan Hobson, Historia de los síntomas mentales by German E. Berrios, and Estructuras de la mente. La teoría de las inteligencias múltiples by Howard Gardner.

Sociología is a collection under which FCE has published translations of classics such as Max Weber’s Economía y sociedad, Auguste Comte’s Primeros ensayos, Karl Mannheim’s Ideología y utopía, Roger Caillois’s El hombre y lo sagrado, and Émile Durkheim’s Las formas elementales de la vida religiosa.

Tezontle, the first of FCE’s literature collections, was originally conceived as Centzontle (the bird of a thousand voices), but a communication error produced a lucky errata which would be perpetuated. Over time, this series has issued many richly illustrated works; it functions as a “collection for books without collection.” Some noteworthy examples are George Kubler’s Arquitectura mexicana del siglo XVI, Fernando González Gortázar’s Arquitectura: pensamiento y creación, as well as several iconographic volumes on figures such as Alfonso Reyes, Luis Buñuel, Daniel Cosío Villegas, Efraín Huerta, and José Revueltas.

Tierra Firme. Originally designed as the contemporary, humanistic, and scientific counterpart of the Biblioteca Americana collection, it issues works of all genres: novel, short story, poetry, drama, essay, and criticism, by and on prominent authors that, due to their nationality, would have no place in Letras Mexicanas. Encouraged by the spirit of cultural diffusion throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the collection also assembles the literary works from FCE’s subsidiaries.

Vida y Pensamiento de México has the mission of giving certified account for the historical and cultural transformations in Mexico. A distinguishing feature of this series is the inclusion of unimpeachable testimonies of artists, leaders and intellectuals. This is a collection in which biography, criticism, chronicle, correspondence, and memoir combine to build the gallery of personalities, movements and institutions that have shaped contemporary Mexico.

Umbrales. Directed by Claudio Lomnitiz and Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo, it provides students and scholars with cutting-edge texts on anthropology, sociology and politics that introduce Spanish speaking readers into discussions and debates from other latitudes. Its pocket volumes are small assortments of articles or book chapters on specific topics by authors almost always unpublished or little known in Spanish. Some examples are Joel S. Migdal’s Estados débiles, Estados Fuertes; Peter Geschiere’s Política de la pertenencia: brujería autoctonía e intimidad; and Philip Abrams, Akhil Gupta and Timothy Mitchell’s Antropología del Estado.

Periodicals[edit]

Fondo de Cultura Económica publishes three periodicals:

  • El Trimestre Económico. Forerunner of FCE itself, this journal began by issuing translations of articles published in major journals in English and gradually began including original research by scholars and government officials from Mexico and Latin America.
  • La Gaceta. Founded by Arnaldo Orfila Reynal on FCE’s 20th anniversary, it is a monthly magazine with excerpts, reviews, articles, and poems. With Jaime García Terrés as its chief editor it took an outstanding literary direction and achieved international presence. In 1987, it received the Mexican Premio Nacional de Periodismo. Today it can be read online (as PDF) and through the iOS and Android apps.
  • Diánoia. It is a peer-reviewed philosophy journal jointly published by FCE and the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM, since 1955. Its main goal is to promote, coordinate and disseminate original and high-level philosophical production in Spanish. Until 2001, it was a yearly periodical and has been biannual since.

Electronic publishing[edit]

FCE has four types of electronic publications:

  • E-books in ePub and other formats, with up to 1,300 available titles in major e-stores such as Amazon, iBooks, GooglePlay, Barnes & Noble, Snowfall, Todoebook, and its own web site.
  • Interactive Books, both apps and ePub files; for example, Paloma Valdivia’s Es así.
  • iOS and Android apps for tablets; some of them are: Animalario universal del professor Revillod, Archivo abierto: 80 años del FCE, La Gaceta, and a version of José Moreno de Alba’s Minucias del lenguaje.
  • Web sites; this includes a version of Moreno de Alba’s Minucias del lenguaje, La Gaceta, and El Trimestre Económico under the Open Journals Systems standard (forthcoming).

Contests[edit]

FCE organizes five contests:

  • Concurso de Álbum Ilustrado a la Orilla del Viento. Its main purpose is to encourage plastic and literary creation for children and teenagers, awarding the prize to an unpublished visual story. Apart from a cash payment as an advance of royalties, the award consists in the publication of the work within the Los Especiales de A la Orilla del Viento collection. It is an annual competition.
  • Premio Hispanoamericano de Poesía para Niños. Its main purpose is to encourage children to acquire a taste for poetry. FCE, together with the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas, summons poets from all the world. The winning book is published and the winner receives a prize in cash. The call is annual.
  • Concurso Leamos La Ciencia para Todos. It seeks to promote the habits of reading and of non-literary writing. Students aged between 12 and 25 years old are asked to write a text on a work from the La Ciencia para Todos collection, genre and length of which depend on the age of the competitor. The call is biennial.
  • Premio Internacional de Divulgación de la Ciencia Ruy Pérez Tamayo. The call is biennial.
  • Concurso Iberoamericano de Ensayo para Jóvenes. Its main goal is to encourage the love of reading among young people by writing texts on the work of great Ibero-American writers. It is directed at people between 18 and 25 years old from Mexico and the 10 countries with FCE branches. In addition to the prize in cash, the winning essay is published in La Gaceta. The call is annual.

FCE’s Headquarters[edit]

Head Office[edit]

On September 4, 1992, Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, then CEO, inaugurated the new FCE’s facilities, located in 227 Picacho-Ajusco Highway, in Mexico City. Surrounded by gardens, the facility also houses the Unidad Cultural Jesús Silva Herzog, the Gonzalo Robles Library, which preserves FCE’s growing collection, and the Alfonso Reyes bookstore.

FCE's central office

Foreign branches[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Fondo de Cultura Económica’s Foreign Branches.

In addition to its central office in Mexico, FCE has subsidiaries in (year of foundation in brackets):

Bookstores[edit]

FCE runs 37 bookstores, 27 in Mexico and 10 all over the Spanish-speaking world. It sells and distributes its own catalog and also books from other publishers (opening years are in brackets).

In Mexico[edit]

Aguascalientes

Chiapas

Coahuila

Colima

Durango

Estado de Mexico

Guanajuato

Jalisco

Mexico City

Michoacán

  • Luis González y González Bookstore (2007): in Morelia.
  • At FCE’s Centro Cultural in Apatzingán, Michoacán (2014): in a restored building including a reading station and several workshop rooms; the Centro Cultural operates under a model of cultural management that involves citizen involvement and an approach of peace culture.

Nuevo León

Rest of the world[edit]

Recognitions and awards[edit]

FCE's logo

As an institution, FCE has earned the Prince of Asturias Award in Media and Humanities in 1989, as well as the "Premio FILIJ del Libro" bestowed by the Mexican culture ministry for children's books in 1992. In 1993, FCE received the Premio Laurel de Oro (bestowed by the city of Madrid), a mention in the "Premio Juan García Bacca", awarded by the Association for Peruvian Culture, and the "Calendario Azteca de Oro" ("Golden Aztec Calendar"), granted by the Association of Mexican TV and Radio Journalists

References and sources[edit]


Bibliography[edit]

    • Aboites, Luis; Loyo, Engracia (2010). “La construcción del nuevo Estado, 1920-1945”. In Erik Velásquez García et al. Nueva historia general de México. Mexico: El Colegio de México. pp. 595–652. ISBN 9786074621792.
    • Ángel Mobarak, Gustavo de, and Graciela Márquez (eds.), Respuestas propias. 80 años de El Trimestre, Mexico: FCE, 2014, ISBN 9786071620378
    • Díaz Arciniega, Víctor, Historia de la casa. Fondo de Cultura Económica (1934-1994), Mexico: FCE, 1994.
    • Pacheco, Cristina, En el primer medio siglo del Fondo de Cultura Económica. Testimonios y conversaciones, Mexico: FCE, 1984.
    • Various authors, Fondo de Cultura Económica. Memoria editorial 1990-2000, Mexico: FCE, 2000.
    • Various authors, Catálogo histórico 1934-2009, Mexico: FCE, 2009.
    • Garone Gravier, Marina, Historia en cubierta. El Fondo de Cultura Económica a través de sus portadas (1934-2009), Mexico: FCE, 2011.

(Spanish)

External links[edit]

  • This article draws heavily on the [[{{{1}}}|corresponding article]] in the Spanish-language Wikipedia, which was accessed in the version of {{{2}}}.