Preston, Julia 1955(?)-

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PRESTON, Julia 1955(?)-


Born c. 1955; married Samuel Dillon (a journalist). Education: Yale University, B.A., 1976.


Home—New York, NY. Office—New York Times, 229 West 43rd St., New York, NY 10036.


Journalist and editor. Washington Post, Washington, DC, foreign correspondent, 1986-95; New York Times, New York, NY, foreign correspondent, 1995-2001, foreign desk editor, 2001—. Also worked as a writer for Boston Globe and National Public Radio.


Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanitarian Journalism, 1994; Maria Moors Cabot Prize, 1997; Pulitzer Prize for reporting on international affairs, 1998.


(With Samuel Dillon) Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2004.


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Preston has spent more than twenty years reporting on issues related to Latin American and South American countries. The trilingual reporter spent years living in and working out of Brazil and Mexico, covering topics ranging from the impeachment of Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello to drug corruption in Mexico to the wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Preston collaborated with her husband, Samuel Dillon, on the 2004 book Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy. The couple pulled the book's material from extensive reporting and experiences that occurred in Mexico City in the late 1990s. Opening Mexico tells the story of the reign and fall of Mexico's corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled the country for over seventy years. The presidential election of Vicente Fox in 2000 put an end to the PRI's long run. The authors credit the perseverance of the Mexican people for the change in government, and the book focuses on key individuals who played a role in the country's transformation.

Critics have lauded Opening Mexico for its readable prose and in-depth coverage of an important political event. Library Journal contributor Stephen Hupp called the book "richly detailed and excellently written," and he recommended it for all libraries. Houston Chronicle contributor Scott W. Helman commented that Dillon and Preston "paint a moving portrait of a people fighting great odds to force democracy on a country that had long been democratic in name only."



Booklist, February 1, 2004, Gilbert Taylor, review of Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy, p. 946.

Business Week, March 29, 2004, Geri Smith, "Mexican Renaissance," p. 24.

Economist, July 24, 2004, "The View from Gringolandia," p. 78.

Editor & Publisher, March 7, 1992, Richard Miller, "Snakes, Goats, and Freedom of the Press in Rio," p. 14.

Hispanic, March, 2004, Ani Martinez, review of Opening Mexico, p. 62.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2003, review of Opening Mexico, p. 1442.

Library Journal, February 1, 2004, Stephen Hupp, review of Opening Mexico, p. 110.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, April 11, 2004, Hugh Thomas, "Mexican Evolutions," p. 12.

Nation, April 19, 2004, Daniel Wilkinson, "Democracy Is in the Streets," p. 25.

New York Times Book Review, March 28, 2004, Michele Wucker, "Distant Neighbor," p. 10.


Houston Chronicle Online, (March 12, 2004), Scott W. Helman, "Reporters Tell Story of How the Mexican People Took over Their Government."

Yale University Web site, (October 8, 2004), "Julia Preston."


Current Events at the United Nations (video), International Wire, July 9, 2004.*