Mexico in the Early 20th Century

Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands by Kelly Lytle Hernández

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I am on a mission to learn more non-USA history of the Americas, and a review nudged me toward this book. All that was already familiar to me in the book was the landownership of the US wealthy in Mexico and how that pushed our government to cooperate with Mexico’s government, at least for a time. This book fleshed that out along with the displacement of indigenous and other exploitation and the unrest that capitalism promoted.

This book was a good entrance into a small portion of Mexican history. It covered a ten-year period, focused on a few people, but did give about 50 years of background. It was clearly organized and at first whole sections were devoted to one person or event. When people were reintroduced after much text, there were short phrases reminding of their role. Toward the end it got more populated and more complex between more people joining the struggle and the struggles within the group. And battles won and lost, mostly lost. The introduction had indicated a winning, so I kept reading and hoping. Women had a role too, and while there wasn’t a lot of detail about them, they were not overlooked.

A word about the title. “Bad Mexicans” is what the rebels were called by the government they resisted. And one reason for rebelion was that President Diaz , who had campaigned on following the constitution and not allowing reelection, found ways to extend his reign.

Perhaps the review that prompted me to read the book was this one on Democracy Now! It might interest you too: https://www.democracynow.org/2022/5/10/bad_mexicans_kelly_lytle_hernandez_revolution



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1 Comment

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One response to “Mexico in the Early 20th Century

  1. Sounds like an interesting topic. Sorry to say I know very little about Central America.

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