Early in a sixteen-year sojourn in Mexico as an engineer for an American mining company, John W. F. Dulles became fascinated by the story of Mexico’s emergence as a modern nation, and was imbued with the urge to tell that story as it had not yet been told—by letting events speak for themselves, without any interpretations or appraisal.
The resultant book offers an interesting paradox: it is “chronicle” in the medieval sense—a straightforward record of events in chronological order, recounted with no effort at evaluation or interpretation; yet in one aspect it is a highly personal narrative, since much of its significant new material came to Dulles as a result of personal interviews with principals of the Revolution. From them he obtained firsthand versions of events and other reminiscences, and he has distilled these accounts into a work of history characterized by thorough research and objective narration.
These fascinating interviews were no more important, however, than were the author’s many hours of laborious search in libraries for accounts of the events from Carranza’s last year to Calles’ final retirement from the Mexican scene. The author read scores of impassioned versions of what transpired during these fateful years, accounts written from every point of view, virtually all of them unpublished in English and many of them documents which had never been published in any language.
Combining this material with the personal reminiscences, Dulles has provided a narrative rich in its new detail, dispassionate in its presentation of facts, dramatic in its description of the clash of armies and the turbulence of rough-and-tumble politics, and absorbing in its panoramic view of a people’s struggle.
In it come to life the colorful men of the Revolution —Obregón, De la Huerta, Carranza, Villa, Pani, Carillo Puerto, Morones, Calles, Portes Gil, Vasconcelos, Ortiz Rubio, Garrido Canabal, Rodríguez, Cárdenas. (Dulles’ narrative of their public actions is illumined occasionally by humorous anecdotes and by intimate glimpses.) From it emerges also, as the main character, Mexico herself, struggling for self-discipline, for economic stability, for justice among her citizens, for international recognition, for democracy.
This account will be prized for its encyclopedic collection of facts and for its important clarification of many notable events, among them the assassination of Carranza, the De La Huerta revolt, the assassination of Obregón, the trial of Toral, the resignation of President Ortiz Rubio, and the break between Cárdenas and Calles. More than sixty photographs supplement the text.
Preface 1. General Alvaro Obregón and the Constitutionalist Revolution 2. The Presidential Campaign of 1919–1920 3. The Plan of Agua Prieta 4. Tlaxcalantongo 5. From Tlaxcalantongo to Mexico City 6. The Selection of an Interim President 7. Adolfo de la Huerta and Pancho Villa 8. The Interim Regime and Other Restless Generals 9. The Election of General Obregón 10. International Relations during the Interim Regime 11. General Obregón and the Agrarian Problem 12. Obregón’s Administration Gets under Way during a Depression 13. Combatting Francisco Murguía and His Associates 14. Combatting Ignorance 15. The Death of the Partido Liberal Constitutionalista 16. Carrillo Puerto and the Ligas de Resistencia de Yucatán 17. De la Huerta Makes a Trip to New York 18. The Bucareli Conferences 19. The Presidential Succession 20. The Assassination of Pancho Villa 21. The Break between the Partido Cooperatista Nacional and Obregón 22. Adolfo de la Huerta Breaks with Obregón 23. The Pani-De la Huerta Controversy 24. The Struggle Becomes Intense 25. The First Stage of the De la Huerta Rebellion 26. The Last Days of Carrillo Puerto 27. The Assassination of Field Jurado 28. Military Events; The Battle of Esperanza 29. The Last Bloody Phases of the Rebellion 30. Obregón Finishes His Term 31. Luis N. Morones and Organized Labor 32. Government Finances during the Golden Days of President Calles 33. Efforts of the Calles Administration To Develop the Nation 34. Struggle with the Catholic Clergy 35. The Cristero Rebellion and the Case of Padre Pro 36. The Revolutionary Program and United States Relations 37. The Arrival of Ambassador Morrow 38. The Presidential Campaign of Generals, 1927–1928 39. Bloody Climax of the 1927–1928 Presidential Campaign 40. The Re-election of General Obregón 41. The Assassination of General Obregón 42. An Investigation and Some Accusations 43. A Memorable Presidential Address 44. The Selection of a Provisional President 45. The Murder Trial 46. President Portes Gil and the C.R.O.M. 47. Background for the Querétaro Convention 48. The Querétaro Convention of the Partido Nacional Revolucíonario 49. The Outbreak of the Escobar Rebellion 50. The Campaign East and North; The Battle of Jiménez 51. The Campaign in the West 52. The Resumption of Catholic Services 53. Autonomy for the National University 54. The Vasconcelista Campaign of 1929 55. A Bad Inauguration Day for President Ortiz Rubio 56. Rough Times for the Convalescent 57. The Great Depression Sets In 58. Pani Returns to the Finance Ministry 59. Some Cabinets of President Ortiz Rubio 60. Acute Religious and Political Problems 61. The Resignation of President Ortiz Rubio 62. Pani’s Departure from President Rodríguez’ Cabinet 63. Narciso Bassols and the Catholic Clergy 64. The Official Party Selects a Presidential Candidate 65. Efforts by the Opposition in 1933 and 1934 66. Negotiations with the United States under President Rodríguez 67. Rodríguez Handles Agrarian and Labor Matters 68. December, 1934 69. Garrido Canabal and Tabasco, “Laboratory of the Revolution” 70. Agitation and Strikes in Early 1935 71. The Declarations of General Calles 72. The Break between Cárdenas and Calles 73. The Expedition to Tabasco 74. General Calles Returns to Mexico 75. The Curtain Falls for General Calles Appendix A: Presidents of Mexico Appendix B: Presidents of the P.N.R Notes on Sources Sources of Material Index
John W. F. Dulles (1913–2008) was University Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He wrote many books on Latin American history.
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