Winner of the 2020 Thomas McGann Book Prize from the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies
This captivating study tells Mexico's best untold stories. The book takes the devastating 1833 cholera epidemic as its dramatic center and expands beyond this episode to explore love, lust, lies, and midwives. Parish archives and other sources tell us human stories about the intimate decisions, hopes, aspirations, and religious commitments of Mexican men and women as they made their way through the transition from the Viceroyalty of New Spain to an independent republic. In this volume Stevens shows how Mexico assumed a new place in Atlantic history as a nation coming to grips with modernization and colonial heritage, helping us to understand the paradox of a country with a reputation for fervent Catholicism that moved so quickly to disestablish the Church.
Donald Fithian Stevens is an associate professor of history at Drexel University. He is the author of Origins of Instability in Early Republican Mexico.
"A creative study of intimate and interior lives."--Farren Yero, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
"Stevens brings both thoughtfulness and playfulness to his interpretations. . . . In each chapter, Stevens draws concrete and persuasive conclusions about popular expressions of Catholicism."--Nora E. Jaffary, Medical History
"A beautifully written, carefully analyzed, and deeply sourced examination of culture and society in the midst of epidemic in the mid-nineteenth century."--Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies
"Mexico in the Time of Cholera is a sophisticated piece of scholarship--not to mention one that reads like a novel. Opening a clear window onto the Republic in its earliest years, Stevens deserves high praise for a fine achievement. Highly recommended."--Choice
List of Illustrations Chapter One. Pomp and Pageantry, Impiety and Obscenity Chapter Two. Birthdays, Patron Saints, and Names for Newborns Chapter Three. Pregnancy, Privacy, and Parish Priests Chapter Four. But If You Do Not Love Him? Chapter Five. Men Remembering Romance (and Other Reasons to Marry) Chapter Six. Inventing Love Stories Chapter Seven. True Wedding Portraits Chapter Eight. Where Their Bodies Were Buried Chapter Nine. To Fear the Wrath of Heaven Conclusion Afterword