The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 158
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158 Southwestern Historical Quarterly July
Everything has its limitations, and perhaps Oles is compensating for the fact
that the American art created in Mexico is not that noteworthy. Yet these Ameri-
cans, slackers and all, also went to Mexico to seek joy, universalism, the reconcili-
ation of opposites, and edenic moments, coupled, of course, with a high-risk
downside. In fact, they advanced the U.S. lifestyle frontier into a realm that only
now is becoming a pervasive national experience. If that is romantic, escapist,
uncritical, or idealized, so be it. iVzva Mixico!
Texas A&M University HENRY C. SCHMIDT
In the Shadow of the Mexican Revolution: Contemporary Mexican History, z9 o-z989.
By Hector Aguilar Camin and Lorenzo Meyer. (Austin: University of Texas
Press, 1993. Pp. viii+287. Preface, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-29270-446-
In the Shadow of the Mexican Revolution began as part of a multivolume illustrat-
ed history of Mexico from pre-Hispanic times to the 1980s aimed at the general
public. When publication costs curtailed the project, a revised and unillustrated
work dealing solely with the twentieth century and targeting a better-educated
audience was published as A la sombra de la Revoluci6n Mexicana (Mexico City: Cal
y Arena, 1989). The current work is a translation of the 1989 edition. The au-
thors are two of Mexico's most influential intellectuals. Hector Aguilar Camin is
director of Nexos magazine, while Lorenzo Meyer coordinates the program of
Mexican-U.S. studies at the Colegio de Mexico.
The book is organized chronologically and is well balanced among the differ-
ent periods covered. Chapter one deals with the fall of the old regime of Porfirio
Diaz and the early phase of the revolution of 1 91 o under Francisco Madero. In
chapter two (1913-1920), the authors describe the revolutionary factionalism
that led to civil war and the ultimate triumph of the faction led by Venustiano
Carranza. Efforts to consolidate and institutionalize the revolution are the prin-
cipal topics of chapter three (1920-1934). Chapter four (1934-1940) examines
the peak of the social revolution under President Lazaro Cardenas. In chapter
five the authors discuss the "Mexican economic miracle" of 1940-1968 and the
social and political problems lurking behind it. The fading of the economic mir-
acle occupies chapter six, which begins with the political crisis of 1968 and ends
with the economic crisis of the I 980s. The authors conclude with a description
of the painful political and economic transition underway in Mexico in the late
The work provides a good overview of the history of twentieth-century Mexico,
although it may have landed in an uncomfortable middle ground between the
general reader and the specialist. The former may find it difficult to assimilate
the political intricacies and socioeconomic statistics, while the latter may wish for
a more detailed and referenced discussion of several of the topics. U.S.-Mexican
relations come in for frequent discussion, but there is limited coverage of bor-
der activities. In the Shadow of the Mexican Revolution will be of value to those who
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/m1/186/?rotate=270: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.