The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980

Book Reviews
ROBERT A. CALVERT, Editor
Judrez and Diaz: Machine Politics in Mexico. By Laurens B. Perry.(De-
kalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 1978. Pp. 496.
Illustrations, maps, appendices, bibliography, index. $25.)
The Porfirian Interregnum: The Presidency of Manual Gonzdlez of
Mexico, r880-1884. By Don M. Coerver. (Fort Worth: Texas
Christian University Press, 1979. Pp. 326. Bibliography, index.
$6.95.)
The availability of the massive archive of Porfirio Diaz (over three
quarters of a million documents) has resulted in considerable research
attention to Mexican history of the second half of the nineteenth cen-
tury. The process began with the multi-volume history of the Restored
Republic and of the Porfiriato (1867-1911), prepared by the late Daniel
Cosio Villegas and his associates. Inevitably researchers have labored in
the shadow of that monumental work. Such is the case of the two mono-
graphic studies at hand.
Laurens B. Perry, formerly of the University of the Americas and
more recently associated with the Universidad Veracruzana, has focused
on the political and military elements in examining what he describes
as the "machine politics" of the administrations of Benito P. Juarez and
SebastiAn Lerdo during the Restored Republic (1867-1876). Don M.
Coerver of Texas Christian University focuses his attention on the in-
terregnum administration of General Manuel GonzAlez (188o-1884).
Both studies are well documented, revisionist in spirit, and welcome ad-
ditions to the historical literature of the period.
The study on the Juarez-Lerdo period is part of a series on the origins
of modern Mexico being published by Northern Illinois University Press
under Professor Perry's editorship. Perry argues, not unconvincingly
and with meticulous detail, that the machine politics he describes is the
result of the failure of liberalism and represents the origins of modern
Mexican politics. Liberalism, he argues, clashed with Mexican reality.
Wherever one turns there is contradiction: liberal federalism versus
regionalism and caudillismo; liberal separation and balance of powers
versus executive centralism; economic liberalism versus the absence of

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed August 23, 2014.