The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981

Book Reviews

hualc6yotl, the poet-prince of Texcoco, to Daniel Cosio Villegas, the
contemporary historian and political critic, that mixes wisdom and
wit in a synthesis neither intellectual nor anti-intellectual. Posada
epitomizes this experience.
A Posada print is never a cartoon and usually more than a social mes-
sage, yet invariably it reveals a concept-a generic preoccupation with
death, folly, passion, and fear or the quotidian concern with bread, jus-
tice, civic value, and change. Capable of embracing both fantasy and
realism, the Posada icon is always economical, controlled by the un-
adorned inevitability of street life or the epiphany that becomes a his-
torical truth with the passage of time. This is a profound form of
journalism, devoid of parochial commentary, the visual complement to
the corrido before photographic and electronic media shortened the
moral perspective and reduced artistic space. The overall effect is a
mythical rendering of Mexico made cohesive by one set of forces and
torn apart by another. Thus in his Mexico City shop a few blocks from
the zdcalo, Posada depicted the reasons for the decline of the Diaz re-
gime and the rise of its opposition. Disseminated through popular
outlets, Posada's legacy entered the mainstream of postrevolutionary
nationalism and continues to influence our perceptions of early twen-
tieth-century Mexico.
Fortunately for social and cultural history, the topic of Posada elicits
more than a reflection on printmaking, as this book admirably demon-
strates. The Library of Congress is to be commended for publishing an
attractive and highly useful Latin American source material. The fore-
word by Alan M. Fern, preface, credits, appendices, bibliography, and
index are professionally enhancing. With its profuse illustrations,
handsome paper, elegant printing, and fair price, Posada's Mexico is
an excellent book buy.
Texas A&M University HENRY C. SCHMIDT
John Taylor Wood: Sea Ghost of the Confederacy. By Royce Gordon
Shingleton. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979. Pp. xiv+
242. Illustrations, maps, bibliographic note, index. $15.)
This volume traces the Civil War career of John Taylor Wood, per-
haps the most famous coastal naval raider of the Civil War. The grand-
son of Zachary Taylor and the nephew of Jefferson Davis, Wood was a
member of a distinguished family that was divided by the conflict be-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 14, 2014.