The Business of Revolution

Alan Knight

  • Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution by John Mason Hart
    California, 478 pp, $35.00, January 1988, ISBN 0 520 05995 6

When it comes to gringo-bashing – berating the US for its imperialist policies in Latin America – no native nationalist can compete with an impassioned gringo. Mexico, which historically has been the chief victim of such policies, has produced plenty of such nationalists: but it is the occasional gringo heretic – like the muckraking journalist John Kenneth Turner who, in 1909, blew the whistle on Mexican neo-slavery, alleging that his compatriots had ‘transformed Mexico into a slave colony of the US’ – who has often made the biggest impact. Such auto-critiques carry special weight; they exude indignant sincerity; and, compared with the native nationalist’s rant, they are less easily deflected by the old one-liner, ‘he would, wouldn’t he?’

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