A social and political history of regional socialist parties that set critical precedents for the creation of Mexico's single-party system following the Mexican Revolution. For scholars and students of modern Latin America across disciplines.
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Sarah Osten is an assistant professor of history at the University of Vermont. She has published research on Mexican politics, the history of the Mexican Southeast, and women's suffrage.
Introduction: Mexico's search for peace and postrevolutionary political institutions; 1. The socialist crucible: Yucatán, 1915-1922; 2. Revolutionary laboratories: the spread of socialism across the Southeast, 1915-1923; 3. Putting the system to the test: The de la Huerta rebellion in the Southeast, 1923-4; 4. A harder line: socialist tabasco, 1920-27; 5. The forgotten revolution: socialist Chiapas, 1924-7; 6. Closing ranks: socialism and anti-reelectionism, 1925-27; 7. A nation of parties; Conclusion: hard lessons.
'Provocatively - persuasively - revisionist. The Mexican Revolution's Wake offers a through-the-looking-glass analysis of prismo's southern roots and is a welcome restatement of the value of regional and political histories of the post-revolutionary 1920s. Sarah Osten shows that the socialist bosses of Covarrubias's fabled 'Mexico South' were not revolutionary wildcatters or mad scientists but unacknowledged systemic architects of one-party rule. Brilliantly counter-intuitive.' Matthew J. Butler, University of Texas at Austin 'Sarah Osten's clever, comprehensive, and painstaking work rescues Mexican politics in the 1920s from overly Machiavellian readings, finding in the swamps and mountains of the southeastern states the tangled roots of the revolutionary party, and among them not just corruption and violence, but also institutions and idealism. This is a book that will change how we think about post-revolutionary politics.' Paul Gillingham, Northwestern University, Illinois 'Osten takes regional history to the next level. She argues that four southeastern states served as a testing ground of the institutions, practices, and discourses of a distinctively Mexican brand of socialism. This southeastern socialism, above all Tomas Garrido Canabal's Tabascan variant, was adopted (and moderated) by the newly forged national ruling party in 1929. By steering clear of familiar explanations for Mexico's unique path of state formation (populism, caciquismo, culture hegemony, political machines), she has given scholars much to think about.' Ben Fallaw, Colby College, Maine 'The Mexican Revolution's Wake is a path-breaking analysis of the role of the Mexican Southeast in the construction of the post-revolutionary state. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the negotiation of rule at both the state and national levels, and a splendid interpretation of how Mexico passed from political chaos to stable central rule.' Jurgen Buchenau, University of North Carolina, Charlotte 'Sarah Osten presents a fine grained and compelling new history of reformist socialism in southeastern Mexico, and shows how novel political experiments and forms of popular mobilization diffused through that region and played a critical role in shaping the emergence of a new, national political system that would govern Mexico for the next seventy years. Built on a deep foundation of careful archival work, Osten's book is a vividly told, lucid, and judicious account of this critical and understudied era in Mexican history. Osten shows us the complex interplay between region and nation to illuminate both the popular and the authoritarian strands that defined the Mexican political system.' Edward Beatty, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
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