The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 472
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
with headquarters in Mexico City. During the course of those
years he was able to observe conditions in all parts of the nation
and to correlate those observations with his own researches.
Bringing to the task a mind and technique fully conversant with
the problems of scholarship, he has shown a marked ability in
the use of the information available to him.
Rural Mexico is not easy reading. Close attention must be paid
to the almost constant reference to population, land distribution,
and educational data, for the facts as presented tend to tell their
own story with small embellishment by the author. Only on rare
occasions does Whetten summarize or speak in generalities, and
consequently the reader must be careful to assimilate all the facts
as presented, or he loses the import of the work. This failure to
allow the reader the benefit of the author's experience in evalu-
ation is discouraging at times, but careful reading and frequent
reference to the numerous charts and diagrams will usually clar-
ify any questions which might occur.
The most serious flaw in an otherwise highly laudable effort
is the long-six chapters covering 123 pages-background which
serves as an introductory section. Unfortunately, Professor Whet-
ten is not a student of Mexican history and consequently has
fallen into a number of errors. Reference to some of the most
recent works by Mexican authors, particularly those of Silvio
Zavala, would have served to improve his preliminary remarks.
In following too closely such authors as McBride, Gruening,
Eyler Simpson, and Phipps, all of whom were pioneers and were
therefore guilty of numerous errors, Whetten has added nothing
to an understanding of the problems or conditions prior to 1930.
Only after he arrives at that point does his work become worth-
Not only does the author describe the attempts which have
been made to solve the agricultural problem through the land
distribution programs and the colonization schemes, both public
and private, but he also describes in detail the actual working
of the ejido system through a series of case studies, the most
detailed of these being that of the collective farms in the Laguna
district. Not content with a mere description of these aspects of
the problem, however, Whetten considers the results and impli-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/481/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.