Mexico’s Once and Future Revolution: Social Upheaval and the Challenge of Rule since the Late Nineteenth Century

Duke University Press
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In this concise historical analysis of the Mexican Revolution, Gilbert M. Joseph and Jürgen Buchenau explore the revolution's causes, dynamics, consequences, and legacies. They do so from varied perspectives, including those of campesinos and workers; politicians, artists, intellectuals, and students; women and men; the well-heeled, the dispossessed, and the multitude in the middle. In the process, they engage major questions about the revolution. How did the revolutionary process and its aftermath modernize the nation's economy and political system and transform the lives of ordinary Mexicans? Rather than conceiving the revolution as either the culminating popular struggle of Mexico's history or the triumph of a new (not so revolutionary) state over the people, Joseph and Buchenau examine the textured process through which state and society shaped each other. The result is a lively history of Mexico's "long twentieth century," from Porfirio Díaz's modernizing dictatorship to the neoliberalism of the present day.
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About the author

Gilbert M. Joseph is the Farnam Professor of History and International Studies at Yale University. His many books include A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America's Long Cold War (with Greg Grandin), The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics (with Timothy J. Henderson), Fragments of a Golden Age: The Politics of Culture in Mexico since 1940 (with Anne Rubenstein and Eric Zolov), and Revolution from Without: Yucatán, Mexico, and the United States, 1880–1924, all also published by Duke University Press.

Jürgen Buchenau is Professor of History and Latin American Studies at UNC Charlotte. He is the author of numerous books, including The Last Caudillo: Alvaro Obregón and the Mexican Revolution, Mexican Mosaic: A Brief History of Mexico, and Plutarco Elías Calles and the Mexican Revolution.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Aug 4, 2013
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780822377382
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Latin America / Mexico
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Michel Gobat deftly interweaves political, economic, cultural, and diplomatic history to analyze the reactions of Nicaraguans to U.S. intervention in their country from the heyday of Manifest Destiny in the mid–nineteenth century through the U.S. occupation of 1912–33. Drawing on extensive research in Nicaraguan and U.S. archives, Gobat accounts for two seeming paradoxes that have long eluded historians of Latin America: that Nicaraguans so strongly embraced U.S. political, economic, and cultural forms to defend their own nationality against U.S. imposition and that the country’s wealthiest and most Americanized elites were transformed from leading supporters of U.S. imperial rule into some of its greatest opponents.

Gobat focuses primarily on the reactions of the elites to Americanization, because the power and identity of these Nicaraguans were the most significantly affected by U.S. imperial rule. He describes their adoption of aspects of “the American way of life” in the mid–nineteenth century as strategic rather than wholesale. Chronicling the U.S. occupation of 1912–33, he argues that the anti-American turn of Nicaragua’s most Americanized oligarchs stemmed largely from the efforts of U.S. bankers, marines, and missionaries to spread their own version of the American dream. In part, the oligarchs’ reversal reflected their anguish over the 1920s rise of Protestantism, the “modern woman,” and other “vices of modernity” emanating from the United States. But it also responded to the unintended ways that U.S. modernization efforts enabled peasants to weaken landlord power. Gobat demonstrates that the U.S. occupation so profoundly affected Nicaragua that it helped engender the Sandino Rebellion of 1927–33, the Somoza dictatorship of 1936–79, and the Sandinista Revolution of 1979–90.


Reclaiming the Political in Latin American History is a collection that embraces a new social and cultural history of Latin America that is not divorced from politics and other arenas of power. True to the intellectual vision of Brazilian historian Emilia Viotti da Costa, one of Latin America’s most distinguished scholars, the contributors actively revisit the political—as both a theme of historical analysis and a stance for historical practice—to investigate the ways in which power, agency, and Latin American identity have been transformed over the past few decades.
Taking careful stock of the state of historical writing on Latin America, the volume delineates current historiographical frontiers and suggests a series of new approaches that focus on several pivotal themes: the construction of historical narratives and memory; the articulation of class, race, gender, sexuality, and generation; and the historian’s involvement in the making of history. Although the book represents a view of the Latin American political that comes primarily from the North, the influence of Viotti da Costa powerfully marks the contributors’ engagement with Latin America’s past. Featuring a keynote essay by Viotti da Costa herself, the volume’s lively North-South encounter embodies incipient trends of hemispheric intellectual convergence.

Contributors. Jeffrey L. Gould, Greg Grandin, Daniel James, Gilbert M. Joseph, Thomas Miller Klubock, Mary Ann Mahony, Florencia E. Mallon, Diana Paton, Steve J. Stern, Heidi Tinsman, Emilia Viotti da Costa, Barbara Weinstein
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"Pablo Acosta was a living legend in his Mexican border town of Ojinaga. He smuggled tremendous amounts of drugs into the United States; he survived numerous attempts on his power—and his life—by rivals; and he blessed the town with charity and civic improvements. He was finally slain in 1987 during a raid by Mexican officials with the cooperation of US law enforcement. Poppa has turned out a detailed and exciting book, covering in depth Acosta's life; the other drug factions that battled with him; the village of Ojinaga; and the logistics of the drug operation. The result is a nonfiction account with enough greed, treachery, shoot-outs, and government corruption to fascinate true crime and crime fiction readers alike. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

Terrence E. Poppa, an award-winning journalist, was a finalist for a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his investigations into the connection between crime and government in Mexico. He was featured in Standoff in Mexico, a PBS production about fraudulent elections in Mexico. Due to his unique insights into the world of Mexican drug trafficking, Poppa has been widely interviewed on radio and television, including Larry King Live and The O'Reilly Factor.



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