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Unfortunately, we learn less about the Huastecan peasants and their worlds than about the political and military history of the region.

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Most of the book six out of eight chapters is devoted to the background of the revolt, leaving only two chapters for an analysis of the actual uprising. In these last two chapters, the reader becomes acquainted with Father Mauricio Zavala, an outspoken critic of Liberal economic reforms who sought to defend the pueblos from the depredations of private landowners. The decision to condense the analysis of the revolt into one chapter is a peculiar organizational choice. The book analyzes the Mexico City penny press in the decade leading up to the revolution — This inexpensive literature, available on street corners of the working-class barrios for one centavo , fulfilled important needs among the urban poor in a city that grew from , inhabitants in to , by It was not very good literature but excellent satire and social commentary, written for the consumption of a burgeoning class of working poor males that enjoyed a much higher literacy rate than its counterparts in the rest of the nation, approximately 50 percent 8.

In doing so, the writers invoked popular liberalism to reclaim these icons as working-class heroes as well as examples to follow. Drawing upon James C. Most importantly for our purposes, Buffington constructs the Mexico City penny press as an important contributing factor in the formation of the patriotic working-class consciousness that would later play an important role in the Mexican Revolution. One question emerging from this important book is to what extent the penny press contributed to the emergence of working-class consciousness, and to what extent it reflected the formation of such consciousness—a question difficult to answer.

The work covers four distinct periods: Reform and French Intervention — , Liberal modernization under the Restored Republic and the Porfiriato — , the military phase of the Mexican Revolution — , and the beginning of reconstruction — Wasserman posits that the revolution did not occasion a significant change in the relationship between foreign capitalists, national entrepreneurs, and the Mexican government.


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The book is based on a lifetime of work on entrepreneurs and politics in Chihuahua, scholarship that has defined Wasserman as the foremost authority on this topic. The author advances a number of tenets that follow in the footsteps of recent research on Mexican business and economic history. The government affected the environment of doing business in Mexico in various ways, for instance, by means of setting or revising a regulatory framework, not to mention its fiscal, monetary, and tax policies.

Similarly, Wasserman argues that foreign investment in Mexico did not typically yield high profits, and that most foreign entrepreneurs acted in concert with rather than in opposition to the national bourgeoisie. He also shows that favoritism, or the spoils of personalismo , by itself seldom landed an entrepreneur a business deal. Instead, playing by the rules imposed by the Mexican bourgeoisie paid off.

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According to Wasserman, the influx of foreign investment did not arrest or impede Mexican economic development—but it served and reinforced the existing power structure, ensuring the survival of an authoritarian, capitalist system into the postrevolutionary period. The focus on the north and northeast makes a difference to the interpretation, as the Creels, Terrazas, Maderos, and Garza Sadas of Monterrey were all unusually powerful Mexican clans. One particularly important case in which foreign investors did not encounter similar Mexican counterweights—the foreign-owned petroleum industry—does not receive much attention.

Nor are tropical export economies included in the analysis. For the remainder of the book, Fowler-Salamini turns to the female workers in the large-scale beneficios , or coffee processing plants, at the center of her study.

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For more than seven decades, thousands of escogedoras cleaned and sorted the coffee beans prior to roasting and shipping. In an industry otherwise dominated by men, cleaning and sorting was almost exclusively done by women, who consequently occupied a crucial place in the chain of coffee production and, over the decades, developed a strong working-class consciousness with clear feminist aspects. This first-rate book joins a body of scholarship on women workers in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mexico that also includes contributions from Jocelyn Olcott, Susie Porter, Mary Kay Vaughan, and many others.

Prior to the advent of mechanization, without the escogedoras, there was no coffee production. For example, in —long before the arrival of federal labor legislation—the coffee sorters won one of the first collective labor contracts in Mexico.

Works (67)

In the s, even as low prices and tough global competition beset the coffee economy, the escogedoras used the new industrial arbitration boards to pressure their employers and the state government to grant higher wages and health care benefits. At times, the escogedoras even formed female cacicazgos that featured strong female leaders who practiced union boss rule, just as their male counterparts in the CROM. Bourbon Intentions and Subaltern Responses Doi:. Loyalty, Liberalism, War, and Independence Doi:. The Reconstruction of Order in the Countryside Doi:.

Latin American History: Cuba, Colombia & Mexico - Culture, Economics, Government (2001)

Conclusion Doi:. Notes Doi:. Bibliography Doi:. Index Doi:.

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  • All Rights Reserved. Close Modal. Lambertson shows how members of ethnic, labor, religious, and civil-libertarian organizations campaigned for human rights. Gerry and Mark are twins raised apart who both became firefighters.

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    Agnes and Audrey were identical sisters until Audrey underwent a sex-change operation. These unusual families, and nine others, are included in this anecdotal study by Segal, a psychology professor and director of the Twin Studies Center at California State University, Fullerton. Contrasting the experience of two areas of Mexico—mestizo, urban Oaxaca City and indigenous, rural Villa Alta—he explores citizen participation in the transformation.