The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 243
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revolutionary state governors refused to recognize the regime of Madero's
nemesis, Victoriano Huerta, when called upon to do so. Maytorena de-
layed his response, then left for the United States, and from that point
on his career was steeped in controversy. Did the governor consider re-
cognizing Huerta at first, while urging Venustiano Carranza of Coahuila
to do likewise, as his enemies alleged? Or did he merely stall for time,
hesitant to antagonize Huerta while the dictator's allies menanced May-
torena's own government in Sonora? McCreary's carefully documented
account of Maytorena's actions in 1913 shows the governor to have been
a genuine defender of the revolution, if at times a cautious, indecisive one.
In any case, the distrust of Maytorena which began during the fateful
weeks after Huerta's regime of power eventually poisoned the governor's
relations, not only with fellow Sonorans such as Alvaro Obreg6n and Plu-
tarco Elias Calles, but also with the self-proclaimed leader of the anti-
Huerta rebellion, Venustiano Carranza. As a result, Maytorena drew closer
to Carranza's colorful but mercurial revolutionary rival, Francisco Villa.
When, in the aftermath of Huerta's downfall in 19I4, the Constitutionalist
forces of Carranza and his allies squared off to battle Villa's Conventiona-
lists, Maytorena's fortunes were irrevocably linked with those of the latter.
The disintegration of Villa's Division of the North in 1915 brought with
it Maytorena's total political collapse in Sonora. In October, the governor
fled to Arizona, and his revolutionary career thereafter consisted of inef-
fectual conspiracies against Carranza's heirs, Obreg6n and Calles.
While McCreary's biography is an impassioned and occasionally con-
vincing brief on behalf of a neglected revolutionary figure, it is marred by
a number of serious defects. Like many a privately published work, it is
badly in need of careful editorial scrutiny to eliminate numerous mis-
spellings, sentence fragments and other grammatical and stylistic problems.
The author's unabashed partisanship on behalf of his subject is under-
standable, but does not excuse McCreary's starkly polemical characteriza-
tions of Maytorena's enemies, such as Obreg6n, "a vain, treacherous, un-
scrupulous man consumed by petty jealousy and ambition" (p. 104); and
Calles, "an immoral despot, [who] would use any form of violence to
gain his own end" (p. 128).
In short, McCreary does not do for Maytorena what Stanley R. Ross
and Charles C. Cumberland have done for Madero, or William Howard
Beezley for Abraham Gonzalez. In this reviewer's judgment, Jos6 Maria
Maytorena still awaits his standard, definitive biography.
DAVID B. ADAMS
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/275/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.