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Volume 52 / Humanities


Independence, Revolution, and Post-Revolution

DON M. COERVER, Professor of History, Texas Christian University
LINDA B. HALL, Professor of History, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
BARBARA A. TENENBAUM, Editor in Chief, Encyclopedia of Latin-American History


THE LAST BIENNIUM BROUGHT an embarrassment of riches for the 1810-1910 period with major advances in an array of fields. The flourishing trend of regional history previously noted in HLAS 50 gained strength in the last biennium, particularly among Mexican scholars. Studies focusing on regional topics comprised over one third of the total contributions reviewed for this period, exclusive of collections of essays, and almost 60 percent of those were written by Mexican historians. Indeed, few foreign scholars resident outside Mexico chose to study regional topics, with the significant exceptions of Anderson and Chowning (items bi 89000917 and bi 91006219). Michoacán led the list with six contributions by the aforementioned Chowning, Guzmán (item bi 91000075), Lameiras (item bi 91004681), Ortiz Escamilla (item bi 90001148), and two by Sánchez Díaz (items bi 91018527 and bi 91000072). Veracruz claimed its share of researchers with Blázquez Domínguez (item bi 91000047), the Documentos gráficos para la historia de México for the port city (item bi 91000025), González de la Lama (item bi 91026788), Jiménez Codinach (item bi 90001156), and Naveda Chávez-Hita (item bi 91021882). Pedro and Sosa Bracamonte (item bi 89000806), Konrad (item bi 89001403), and Urías Horcasitas (item bi 91018516) examined Yucatán while Aguirre (item bi 91000038) and the Centro de Investigaciones Históricas y Sociales, Instituto de Ciencias de la Univ. Autónoma de Puebla (item bi 91000045) looked at Puebla. There were also several noteworthy additions to the history of the northern frontier by the ubiquitous Cerutti for the Northeast (item bi 91000052), Almada Bay and Súarez Arguello for Sonora (items bi 91027609 and bi 91027608), Falcón for Coahuila (item bi 89000808), and Garza Guajardo for Tamaulipas (item bi 91000060).

This biennium also saw increased interest in both the Catholic Church and Protestantism. On the former there are works by Dumas, (item bi 91026412), Rodríguez O. (item bi 92012493), Romero de Solís (item bi 89000824), and Vázquez (item bi 91026410); and on the latter, a study by Bastian (item bi 89000802). There were also new works on the army by Hanson (item bi 89000823), Hernández Chávez (item bi 91026413), Santoni (item bi 89000920), and Vázquez (item bi 91026410).

Examinations of the national and fiscal economy continued with major articles by Carmagnani (item bi 90000946) and Coatsworth (item bi 89014511); entrepreneurial activity received its due from Aguirre (item bi 91000038), Bernecker (item bi 89014513), Krause (item bi 91000078), Mentz (item bi 89008736), and Thomson (item bi 89014512); and agricultural history came to the fore with contributions from Aldana Rendón (item bi 91000085), González Navarro (item bi 89008987), Holden (item bi 91004301), Konrad (item bi 89001403), Kaerger (item bi 91000084), Lameiras (item bi 91004681), Nickel (item bi 91000088), and de Vos (item bi 91000063).

Diplomatic history was expanded with works by Díaz y de Ovando (item bi 91000059), Lamar (item bi 89000714), Pi-Suñer (item bi 91000041), and Valdés Lakowsky (item bi 91000077). Intellectual history made a striking comeback with entries by Barrera Bassols (item bi 91000090), Brading (item bi 89000726), Covo (item bi 89000800), Hale (item bi 91000062), del Río (item bi 92008939), Talavera Ibarra (item bi 91000089), and Urías Horcasitas (item bi 91018516); and Van Young's two articles added to the discussion of "mentalités." (items bi 90003986 and bi 91027501).

Worthy of special individual note were contributions by González de la Lama on revolts in Veracruz (item bi 91026788), Guedea's lengthy article describing Indian volunteers and the royalist cause (item bi 92008481), Lugo Olín on demography (item bi 91021884), Moreno Corral for a striking contribution to history of science (item bi 91021904), Oliver on the 1833 cholera epidemic (item bi 91000053), Priego Ramírez for a masterful discussion of photography in Querétaro (item bi 91021880), Rodríguez O. et al., for a collection of important essays from the Bourbon Reforms to the first centralist republic (item bi 91000065), Rojas Rabiela for a source book for history of attitudes toward Indians (item bi 91000032), Stevens' computer reassessment of Mexican instability (item bi 91021890), and Vaughn's magisterial look at education (item bi 90013762). Curiously, while the biennium overflowed with marvelous individual contributions, there was only one addition to an existing series, that of Documentos gráficos para la historia de México: Veracruz, 1858-1914 (item bi 91000025, see also HLAS 50:1146) and no major series of note were initiated. [BAT]


Regional history continued as a major focus for research on the revolutionary period. An eight-volume document collection, La revolución en Oaxaca, 1900-1930 (item bi 90011553), edited by Víctor Raúl Martínez, added greatly to the ease of researching in this area. Francisco Ruiz Cervantes also contributed a monograph on this subject (item bi 89014908). Other regional studies covering a longer time period included contributions by Pedro Echeverría V. on the Yucatán (item bi 89015162), Romana Falcón and Soledad García on Adalberto Tejeda in Veracruz (item bi 89015059), and the impressive multi-volume collection of essays on Jalisco published by the government of that state (item bi 90011647).

Interest in labor history also remained high. Another volume appeared in the series La clase obrera en la historia de México coordinated by Pablo González Casanova (item bi 92009940), with Jaime Tamayo covering the crucial organizational period of 1920-24. Durand Ponte covered a longer period (1938-52), but with a similar emphasis on relations between the state and the labor movement (item bi 89015005). The relationship between organized labor and the Mexican government came in for considerable criticism in the interpretative survey of the labor movement by Dan La Botz (item bi 92011814). Also worthy of note was Cincuenta años de lucha obrera, a lengthy ten-volume documentary history of the CTM published by the PRI (item bi 89014972).

By far the largest concentration of materials was in the area of agrarian movements, changing agrarian structures, and peasant studies. These were no longer concentrated entirely or even primarily on the years of the Revolution, but extended well into the post-revolutionary period. They included studies by Bartra (item bi 92007092), Brannon and Baklanov (item bi 88002453), Leal and Bornemann (item bi 89000766), Radding (item bi 90007987), and Gates (item bi 92007326); articles by Becker (item bi 88000933), Entrena Durán (item bi 89001162), González Navarro (item bi 89008987), and Lerner (items bi 89000769 and bi 89001002); and David Nugent's useful edited work on rural revolt and its connection with US intervention (item bi 90011546).

Reprints of major works also figured prominently in the publications of the last biennium. José C. Valadés' ten-volume Historia general de la revolución mexicana (item bi 89015168) was one of the most significant works in this category as was the paperback edition of Alan Knight's The Mexican Revolution (item bi 90011709). The fundamental work on the revolutionary army by Juan Barragán Rodríguez was also reissued (item bi 89014935). Works by two prominent carrancistas - Isidro Fabela and Alfredo Breceda - were also reprinted (items bi 89014934 and bi 89014937).

Border studies did not figure as prominently as in previous periods, but two major works did appear by veteran commentators. Oscar Martínez discussed border problems from the differing perspectives of the US, Mexico, and the border residents themselves (item bi 92010027) while Linda Hall and Don Coerver provided the first general survey of the border during the military phase of the Revolution (item bi 92009312).

Enrique Krauze's well-written and extensively illustrated Biografía del poder series (item bi 92011757) provided political biographies of some of the leading revolutionary figures: Porfirio Díaz, Francisco Madero, Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa, Venustiano Carranza, and Alvaro Obregón.

Two important works for understanding Mexico's continuing economic problems also appeared. Stephen Haber examined the "first wave" of Mexican industrialization and the characteristics of the industrial sector that emerged (item bi 92009294) while Alex Saragoza described the evolution of the "Monterrey elite" and its role in national political and economic affairs (item bi 92009924). While both studies covered only through 1940, they furnished important insights into Mexico's contemporary economic difficulties.

Two major new syntheses of the Mexican Revolution appeared from John M. Hart (item bi 89014970) and Hans Werner Tobler (item bi 92009942). Hart's volume focused most heavily on the development of the mass base for the Revolution while indicating that the Revolution itself did little to resolve the problems of those who fought it. Tobler's study looked principally at the 1920-40 period, emphasizing the regional diversity of the Revolution and its real but limited impact. [DMC and LBH]

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