History and Latin America

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The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940

Michael J. Gonzales

This judicious history of modern Mexico's revolutionary era will help all readers, and in particular students, understand the first great social uprising of the twentieth century. In 1911, land-hungry peasants united with discontented political elites to overthrow General Porfirio Díaz, who had ruled Mexico for three decades. Gonzales offers a path breaking overview of the revolution from its origins in the Díaz dictatorship through the presidency of radical General Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940) drawn from archival sources and a vast secondary literature.

His interpretation balances accounts of agrarian insurgencies, shifting revolutionary alliances, counter-revolutions, and foreign interventions to delineate the triumphs and failures of revolutionary leaders such as Francisco I. Madero, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Alvaro Obregón, and Venestiano Carranza. What emerges is a clear understanding of the tangled events of the period and a fuller appreciation of the efforts of revolutionary presidents after 1916 to reinvent Mexico amid the limitations imposed by a war-torn countryside, a hostile international environment, and the resistance of the Catholic Church and large land-owners.


Michael J. Gonzales is professor of history and director of the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Plantation Agriculture and Social Control in Northern Peru, 1875-1933 as well as numerous articles on Peruvian and Mexican history.

Lyman L. Johnson is professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is also the general editor for UNM Press's Dialogos series.


"( The Mexican Revolution, 1910 - 1940) will orient students to key issues, raising inevitable questions. . . . The text can organize discussions and lead students towards innovative understandings."


The Americas

"This book is a concise, chronological account of the revolutionary period in Mexico."


New Mexico Magazine

"This concise, clear and easily read history of Mexico's revolutionary period is likely to be welcomed by students and lay readers alike."


British Bulletin of Publications

"Teachers of Mexican history need a readable survey of the revolutionary period's main events, actors, and themes. The Mexican Revolution is this text."


The Historian

"Instructors and students alike will appreciate Gonzales's thorough narrative, his choice of empirical evidence, and his agreeable prose...."


Latin American Perspectives

"A readable and relatively balanced overview of one of the most significant topics in Latin American studies."


The Latin Americanist

"Michael J. Gonzales' book is a useful source on the Mexican Revolution of 1910. . . . This well-researched work is recommended for the general reader and for classroom use."


Colonial Latin American Historical Review

" The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940 is an even-handed narrative/analysis written in a clear and concise style that both specialists and the general public can read to advantage. It is well illustrated with numerous photographs, clear and helpful maps, graphs, and chronologies. This work should serve especially well as a basic text for undergraduaute and graduate-level courses focusing on the revolution or as a complementary text in those treating the broader sweep of Mexican national history."


Journal of San Diego History

6 x 9 in. 320 pages 44 halftones, 5 maps, 8 tables