The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970

Book Reviews

period is controversial, this collection of essays will probably only
add to the dispute. But the essays, in general, present penetrating
insights, and illustrate the need for a continual search beneath the
almost overwhelming myth and legend of much of Texas history.
From this search may come a better understanding of the "Lone
Star Mystique."
Lamar State College JAMES RENBERG
Mexico: The Struggle for Modernity. By Charles C. Cumberland.
(Edited by James R. Scobie. New York: Oxford University Press,
1968. Pp. vi+394. Tables, maps, political chronology, index.
Hard cover, $7.50; Paper cover, $2.50.)
Professor Cumberland states that this book is "an attempt to
clarify and to explain the social and economic issues which gave the
Mexican Revolution such a distinctive stamp." To achieve this ob-
jective, he takes the reader from pre-Hispanic times to 1965, telling
the story "through the eyes of those who suffered from inequality
and who finally exploded with incredible violence." Whereas it is
customary to begin any study of the Mexican Revolution with the
injustices of the porfiriato, the author starts with the arrival of the
Spaniards nearly 450 years ago in order to give the proper back-
ground for the modernity which Mexico finally began to achieve in
1940 as a result of the Revolution of 1910. In so doing he has pro-
duced an outstanding social and economic study of the Mexican nation.
After an opening chapter on geography, the author describes suc-
cinctly the native Mexican society as it was functioning when the
Spaniards arrived. He then moves on to note how this same society
endured under the Spaniards. He wastes no words on the political
history of the Conquest: in fact, a great virtue of this book is the
general absence of political events; a "Political Chronology" of ten
pages at the end fully suffices. One is spared the boring sequence of
viceregal and presidential successions, and instead is informed of what
was really occurring in the social and economic evolution of the Mex-
ican people. Chapter Six ("An Attempt at Revolution") vividly
relates the blood baths of the Hidalgo revolt, the achievement of
political independence, and the devastation of the colonial economy
between 181o and 1821. Through Chapter Seven ("Marking Time")
and Chapter Eight ("The Age of Porfirio Diaz") to the beginning
of the Revolution in 1910o the reader is only too aware of the increas-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed December 1, 2015.