Ronald Atkin, Revolution! Mexico 1910-1920 (London: Macmillan, 1969), 326pp.
Revolution! Mexico 1910-1920 was written by Ronald Atkin. Mr. Atkin’s career before this published work was focused around journalism. Though he has written many short articles on various topics for such publications as The Times and The Independent, he seems to have no previous professional experience in writing a historical publication of this magnitude
Revolution! Mexico 1910-1920 is about the Mexican revolution that began around 1910 and lasted through 1920 (although many Mexicans say that it is still going on). Ronald opens the book with a vivid description of the grandeur that was Mexico, or the façade of Mexico, under the reign of Porfirio Diaz (the mestizo President of Mexico). (p. 3-8) Diaz had been a war hero alongside another Mexican President, Benito Juarez, in the French imposition. (p.7) Because of Diaz’s star status and over fifty years of suffering through 36 different dictators, there was an extreme need for tranquility. (p. 5) Although the Diaz regime was an outright dictatorship, the people of Mexico “had known precious little liberty or democracy since independence, it was merely a question of whether Diaz proved a good dictator or a bad one.” (p. 8) Outwardly Diaz seemed to have brought much prosperity to the country, but that prosperity was only being distributed to a select few.
In 1856 La Ley Lerdo passed. La Ley Lerdo divided up the ejidos (common lands in the villages of indigenous people of Mexico) and allowed them to be bought, or stolen, and sold to developers. Most of the land was sold to hacendados, or owners of haciendas. Under the rule of the Diaz regime, the robbery of land was even more fruitful due to the railroads being built and the profit they drew. (p. 24) By 1910, the almost all of habitable Mexico belonged to private owners, usually in the form of haciendas (only around 3000 people). The workers of these haciendas (mostly native...
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