Mexico: Biography of Power

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HarperCollins, Jun 3, 1998 - 896 pages
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The concentration of power in the caudillo (leader) is as much a formative element of Mexican culture and politics as the historical legacy of the Aztec emperors, Cortez, the Spanish Crown, the Mother Church and the mixing of the Spanish and Indian population into a mestizo culture. Krauze shows how history becomes biography during the century of caudillos from the insurgent priests in 1810 to Porfirio and the Revolution in 1910. The Revolutionary era, ending in 1940, was dominated by the lives of seven presidents -- Madero, Zapata, Villa, Carranza, Obregon, Calles and Cardenas. Since 1940, the dominant power of the presidency has continued through years of boom and bust and crisis. A major question for the modern state, with today's president Zedillo, is whether that power can be decentralized, to end the cycles of history as biographies of power.

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Mexico: biography of power: a history of modern Mexico, 1810-1996

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Krauze is a well-known Mexican literary and historical author who has worked with and written for the important Mexican magazine Vuelta since its inception. His well-translated work, originally ... Read full review

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Posted by ppfuchs -- This is a superb book. Very entertaining. My only criticism is that in his treatment
of the final phase of the independence process he does not make clear that it was
produced by forces of reaction in the society, especially incredibly the Inquisition itself. Certainly much of the impetus for freedom came from more liberal elements, but the final push came from very conservative ones. A great example of why history should never be simplified. 

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About the author (1998)

Enrique Krauze is the author of twenty books, including Mexico: Biography of Power. He has written for The New York Times, The New Republic, Dissent magazine, The Washington Post, and The New York Review of Books. Krauze lives in Mexico City.

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