American historians preoccupied with the stirring events of the Mexican Revolution and the years following tend to neglect the basic causes of the conflict. John Kenneth Turner—a crusading California newspaperman—presents these causes with brilliance and passion in Barbarous Mexico, his exposé of the Díaz regime. Published serially beginning in the fall of 1909, his articles received scores of favorable reviews. The Rochester Times wrote: "The abolitionists in our own ante bellum days did not formulate an indictment as repulsive as that brought against Mexico by this impassioned writer." A British periodical called Turner "an American humanitarian who deserves the thanks of civilisation." Mexican President Francisco I. Madero himself said that Barbarous Mexico contributed greatly to the success of the Revolution.
Despite its fame early in the twentieth century, Barbarous Mexico was out of print for close to sixty years. The present edition, with an introductory biographical essay on Turner by Sinclair Snow and photographs of the principal characters involved, not only reemphasizes the causes of the Mexican Revolution, but provides both lay reader and scholar with a vivid and exciting account of life in Mexico under Porfirio Díaz.