History •  Latin America and Military

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The War Has Brought Peace to Mexico: World War II and the Consolidation of the Post-Revolutionary State

Halbert Jones

Although the battlefields of World War II lay thousands of miles from Mexican shores, the conflict had a significant influence on the country’s political development. Though the war years in Mexico have attracted less attention than other periods, this book shows how the crisis atmosphere of the early 1940s played an important part in the consolidation of the post-revolutionary regime.

Through its management of Mexico’s role in the war, including the sensitive question of military participation, the administration of Manuel Ávila Camacho was able to insist upon a policy of national unity, bringing together disparate factions and making open opposition to the government difficult. World War II also made possible a reshaping of the country’s foreign relations, allowing Mexico to repair ties that had been strained in the 1930s and to claim a leading place among Latin American nations in the postwar world. The period was also marked by an unprecedented degree of cooperation with the United States in support of the Allied cause, culminating in the deployment of a Mexican fighter squadron in the Pacific, a symbolic direct contribution to the war effort.


Halbert Jones directs the North American Studies Programme at St Antony’s College, Oxford.


“Using the outbreak of World War II and the broad challenges Mexico faced internationally and domestically, Jones convincingly argues that Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho deftly navigated these diverse conditions by demanding adherence to ‘national unity.’ . . . Through his impressive research in Mexican and U.S. archives, Jones tells an engaging and persuasive story of how Ávila Camacho rallied ‘the full spectrum of actors within the ruling party behind his leadership.’”



“Jones’s book makes an original and significant contribution to understanding the maturation of Mexico’s long-ruling (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), its protean ideology, and its imperfect professionalization of the military.”


American Historical Review

“Halbert Jones brings Mexico’s participation in World War II to life in The War Has Brought Peace to Mexico. . . . It is above all a story of the relationship between war and state formation, making it of interest to scholars from a variety of disciplines.”



“With this thoroughly researched and carefully narrated volume, Jones provides an essential evaluation of Mexico during World War II and an analysis that offers a solid base for understanding the Cold War politics of the nation.”


Hispanic American Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 312 pages 25 halftones