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San Jose de Gracia

San Jose de Gracia
Mexican Village in Transition
Translated by John Upton

The history of a small town in Mexico.

Series: Texas Pan American Series, Texas Pan American Series

January 1974
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
$37.00
406 pages | 6 x 9 | illus. |
ISBN: 
978-0-292-77571-8
Description: 

The village of San José de Gracia is not mentioned in any history of Mexico, nor is it referred to in any of the annals of the state of Michoacán. It is not to be found at all on most maps, and almost none show its correct location. It is an unknown point in space, in time, and in the consciousness of the Mexican republic.

In Luis González's classic history of the world of San José, he turns his attention in every direction: toward what is lasting and what is ephemeral, everyday and unusual, material and spiritual. The story is, to some extent, the story of rural life anywhere, in any age; to some extent it is peculiar to the world of the peasant all through Mexico's history; and to some extent it can be said to be true only of San José.

The history of San José is also the history of the village as victim of the megalopolis, not only in Mexico but everywhere in our time. With the small community will be lost traditions and a sense of continuity that may prove irreplaceable and essential to human wellbeing. While Luis González does not suggest that he knows what the fate of San José will be, one feels that he knows all too well, and that his questions are only "How?" and "How soon?"

Contents: 
  • Abbreviations
  • Prologue.
    • A Delimitation and Justification of the Subject
    • Some Remarks on Method
    • Self-Defense, Self-Criticism, and Aims
    • Note concerning the Second Edition
  • Three Beginnings
    • The Mountain Landscape
    • An Early History of Construction and Destruction
    • A Society of Cowboys
  • Part One. Half a Century in Search of Communion
    • 1.The Ranchos (1861-1882)
      • The Subdivision and Sale of the Cojumatlán Hacienda
      • Economics of the Ranchos
      • Ranching Society
      • Religion, Games, and Insecurity
    • 2.The Town (1883-1900)
      • The Generation of the Snowstorm
      • The Founding of San José de Gracia
      • The Great Fright of 1900
    • 3. The Ranchos and the Town (1901-1910)
      • The Business World and Social Life
      • Amusements and Religious Dutiesin Padre Othón's Small World
      • Winds from the Outside World
      • All in All, Half a Century of Peaceful and Orderly Progress
  • Part Two. Thirty Years of Suffering
    • 4. The Mexican Revolution (1910-1924)
      • The Madero Revolution
      • The Agents of Revolution in San José
      • The Puntada Gang, José Inés Chivez Garcia, and the Spanish Influenza
      • Gathering Clouds
    • 5. The Cristero Revolution (1925-1932)
      • A Few Months Before
      • The Uprising
      • After Tizapin
      • San José de Gracia Lifts Its Head Again
    • 6. The Agrarian Revolution (1933-1943)
      • The Petitioners, the Petitioned, and the Apportioners of Land
      • The Origin of Nine Ejidos
      • Padre Federico Returns and President Cárdenas Comes to Call
      • Incipit Vita Nova
      • Thirty Years of Turmoil: Statistics and Concepts
  • Part Three. Twenty-five Years of Change
    • 7. Withdrawal and Expansion (1943-1956)
      • At the Mercy of the Outside World
      • The Symptoms of Transformation
      • Seasonal Migration to the United States
      • The Permanent Move to Mexico City
    • 8. From Yesterday to Today (1957-1967)
      • Priority of the Economic Factor
      • Health, Water, Electricity, Education, Telephones, and Television
      • Two Hundred Words More about Change
      • New Aspects of the Landscape and the Town
    • 9. The Upper Crust
      • The Rich and the Middle-Income Group
      • Politics from the Top Down, and Vice Versa
      • Religion and Some of Its Environs
      • Pleasurable Occasions and a Digression concerning Happiness
    • 10. The Underdogs
      • Small Landowners and Men Who Work for Other Men
      • The Woman Produces Children, Meals, and Art
      • Today Many Youngsters Go to School
      • Human Pests and Other Sources of Annoyance
  • Three Conclusions
    • Timeless Things
    • Sayings of Yesterday and Today
    • A Small Epilogue and a Postscript
  • Glossary
  • Works Cited
Excerpts: 

A Delimitation and Justification of the Subject

The parish, or municipio, of San José de Gracia, the subject of this study, is not mentioned in any history of Mexico, nor is it even referred to in any of the annals of the state of Michoacán. It is not to be found at all on most maps, and nearly none show its correct location: at the intersection of the l0th parallel and the 103d meridian. It is an unknown point in space, in time, and in the consciousness of the Mexican republic.

This history concerns a very small area, comprising 231 square kilometers. It is slightly larger than the combined territories of two principalities (Liechtenstein and Monaco), a republic (San Marino), and the Vatican City State. The choice of such a small area may at first glance seem whimsical, and it is certainly unjustifiable from a geographical standpoint. The fragment selected is only the fourth or fifth part of a plateau lying two thousand meters above sea level. Viewed historically, however, it can claim to be a separate entity. On the same plateau, there are five other communities similar to San José, but they are, after all, not identical. Together they make up what is very nearly a separate region—although it may not appear so in any of the attempts at regional classification that have been made to date by the republic.

The geographical limitations of the theme are in obvious contrast to its chronological amplitude. It is a history covering four centuries: from the sixteenth to the present. It ignores pre-Hispanic history, which lies beyond its compass and is nearly nonexistent. It is interested only slightly in the three colonial centuries. Life before 1800 is regarded only as an antecedent. The community we have to deal with here came into being just before and during the War for Independence. In other words, the span of this work is a little more than a century and a half.

There are not many people in it, either. Before the revolution there were more than three thousand inhabitants, but during that struggle there were considerable losses. Since then the plant has shot up wildly; there are now more than eight thousand people, not counting those who have emigrated. In a word, a small amount of humanity in a little space and a short time.

Furthermore: no event has ever taken place on the San Joséan stage that was important enough to raise dust anywhere but in the immediate neighborhood. No important battle was ever fought there; no "convention" of belligerent forces or "revolutionary plan" bears its name. The community has produced no figure of stature in state or national circles, no personage in politics, letters, or the military. It has borne no gaudy fruit and has been the scene of no memorable incident. It would seem to represent historical insignificance at its purest, to be an area absolutely unworthy of attention, an immaculate nullity: unproductive land, plodding lives, undistinguished inhabitants. Smallness, but typical smallness.

In its typicalness lies its strength. The selected historical area is neither influential nor transcendent, but it is certainly typical. Everything it is and has been can also be said of many tiny, orphaned mestizo communities in the mountainous regions of central Mexico. Life in San José, in not being unique, in being a conglomerate of others, in presenting a broad section of the national subconscious, may perhaps be of interest in academic circles, thus justifying the present study.

The community chosen is not, of course, the most typical in the entire Mexican republic. In fact, it was selected not because it was considered typical, but because it was felt to be out of the ordinary. Any village seems ordinary until it is examined closely and deliberately, with love. When—as in the present case—one moves in closer, filled with sympathy, he discovers that each village has its originality, its individuality, its peculiar mission and destiny, and he forgets what it has in common with other communities. The subject of this study is interesting for another reason: it remained isolated from the nation's mainstream until quite recently, when it took an unforeseen course and joined the central river that is Mexico. In short, the choice of San José de Gracia as the subject for a historical study does not seem to have been an unlucky one.

The career of a community, no matter how tiny, suggests themes for research, even though they may not be as numerous or as valuable as those relating to urban life; but precisely because they are few and simple and modest, they are more manageable. This study is an attempt to tell the history of the world of San José de Gracia. It leaves out very little; what it has had to exclude or consider only superficially are those things that have left no trace in the form of documents, monuments, or memories. On the other hand, it includes matters that apparently lie outside the central theme. It was not always within the writer's power to decide what should be embraced and what should be ignored in this history. The superabundance, scarcity, or nonexistence of various sources of information forced him at times to write more or less than he would have liked on one subject or another.

One aspect that was deliberately treated rather fully was the geographical one. The idea here was that there exists an intimate relationship between natural surroundings and rural life. In view of this preconception—which was borne out by the facts—there will be found frequent references to geographical constants and weather cycles. We shall mention the soil, flora and fauna, floods, droughts, earthquakes, comets, epidemics, and endemics. We shall not ignore the yearly change of seasons, or the ten- and thirty-year cycles—so vitally important in cereal-producing areas, but much less so in regions devoted to cattle raising, such as San José.

Neither weather cycles nor figures have much meaning here. The latter are unimportant, probably, because, as Paul Leuilliot says, "local history is qualitative, not quantitative," because it is a field in which statistics count for very little. However, in order not to disregard the current mania, an unreasonable amount of quantification has been done, and here and there long, terrible rows of numbers have crept in.

These people's lives have often been subject to pressures from without, for they do not live at all in the same way as those who govern them. Their existence has a different essence and rhythm. In order to gauge the distance that separates them from those in the vanguard of state and national affairs and to see how disturbing the pressure has been, it has seemed necessary to say something concerning those political elements. For this reason, before reviewing the lower-case events of local life within each period, I have sketched the capital events of national life, as well as some incidents, set in medium-sized type, in the career of the state of Michoacán.

With these limitations and excursions, I have attempted to write the history of the world of San José. In it we shall turn our eyes in every direction: toward what is lasting and what is ephemeral, everyday and unusual, material and spiritual. There is a little of everything: retrospective demography, economics, and various aspects of social life (the family, groups, classes, work and leisure, bullying, the wild masculine pride known as machismo, alcoholism, and folklore). There will be found a complete account of the vicissitudes connected with the ownership of land. Although political life has not been really very vigorous, it has not been excluded; the antipolitical attitude has been fully treated, and there is an occasional flirtation with public officials. Military comings and goings are described, too. We have not missed the chance to tell of battles that took place in the area or in which men from San José took part.

The religious phenomenon is central, although it has undergone little change. From the beginning until today, everyone in San José and its jurisdiction has been a faithful Catholic. No cases of heterodoxy or apostasy have ever been recorded. We are in the presence of a faith so firm that it does not permit even tolerance of any other. Although there have been only superficial changes in religious life, the leaders of the community have nearly always been men of the cloth, and, to defend them and the institution they represent, the men of San José have been willing to kill and be killed.

It was not possible to consider the ideas, beliefs, and attitudes concerning the outside world, nature, history, life, death, money, comfort, modernity, and tradition for every period. Nor was it feasible to undertake a complete history of collective woes. It is unquestionably easier to trace physical vicissitudes than psychological ones.

Most microhistories written by the old guard end with a list of the famous people who came from the area in question. Those of the New Wave, however, dispense with names, in the belief that individuals in small communities are of no importance. Here we have gone to neither extreme. There seemed to be no point in mentioning the very few persons who made names for themselves in the outside world, such as soldiers, politicians, or writers. However, many people are referred to by name, and there are lists and biographical sketches of the founding fathers and of those individuals who made notable contributions to the progress or regress of San José.

Since this history does not pretend to subscribe to the tenets of "historical materialism," here the mass does not replace the individual. Nor has it fallen into the opposite extreme of hero worship. This is neither an anonymous history nor a collection of biographies. About the same amount of attention has been directed toward the individual as toward the multitude. No great effort has been made to eliminate anecdotes—which can at least be amusing. I have, however, tried to include only those that seemed most meaningful, even when they were not the most entertaining.

Every history is necessarily incomplete. The chosen social unit, which comprehends all those individuals who are not called "outsiders," offers an inexhaustible fund of material. Its story is, to some extent, the story of rural life anywhere, in any age; to a lesser degree it is peculiar to the world of the peasant all through Mexico's history; and perhaps in some ways it can be said to be true only of San José.

Some Remarks on Method

It seems that in the process of writing a history limited to a small area one must utilize every recourse of historical methodology—and several others as well. In this kind of research, one encounters a great many obstacles at every stage—some of them peculiar to the discipline. Two problems come up at the very beginning. One cannot simply set to work, as in other fields of history, with the prescribed accouterment of set patterns, prepared questionnaires, working hypotheses, and models. In the present case, I set out with no model in mind; I did not even draw up a list of subjects, or of questions that ought to be answered. I entered the field with a minimum of preconceptions and prejudices, with a great deal of sympathy, and with some antipathies.

It has been asserted that the history of no small community can be written, because the essential documents are missing. As everyone knows, the events of country and village life usually leave few traces; moreover, the evidence tends to get lost, misplaced, and dispersed. In the case of San José, the losses, mislaying, and scattering have been considerable. In the first place, there are no newspaper sources. With a few rare and unrewarding exceptions, happenings in San José have never made the national or provincial dailies. No kind of periodical has ever been published in the village, not even a parish bulletin.

Whatever information could be extracted from national and regional chronicles was used in the historical sketches that appear at the beginning of this work and accompany each of its chapters. For factual matter, two books were very useful: Bosquejo estadístico e histórico del distrito de liquilpan de Juárez [A statistical and historical sketch of the District of Jiquilpan], written by Don Ramón Sinchez in 1896, and Quitupan, a recent work by Don Esteban Chávez. Much more was learned from nonhistorical writings, although the footnotes may not give that impression. A debt must be acknowledged to Agustín Yáñez for his Al filo del agua [The edge of the storm) and Las tierras flacas [The lean lands], to Juan José Arreola for La feria [The fair], and to Juan Rulfo for El llano en llamas [The burning plain] and Pedro Páramo.

Documentation through manuscripts was not extensive; for the most part, they were hard to find. I rummaged with some success through the National General Archives and the files of the Department of Agrarian Affairs and the National Farm Confederation; through court and notary documents in Jiquilpan, town records in Sahuayo and San José de Gracia, and church registers in Sahuayo, Cojumatlán, Mazamitla, and San José, and half a dozen private collections. It would be pointless to list the places where a search turned up nothing, or to mention the files that were closed to me. Perhaps this observation is worth making: the number of documents that have been lost seems to be much greater than the number of those that are still available. It is no exaggeration when people deplore the disgraceful condition of local and regional archives.

The lands division of the National General Archives supplied records concerning land grants conceded to the first usufructuaries in the area, the setting up of a vast latifundium incorporating those grants, and successive changes in ownership of the property during colonial times. In the historical division of the same archives, some notes of a statistical nature from the last third of the eighteenth century showed up.

Some extremely interesting items in the files of the Department of Agrarian Affairs served as the basis for the chapter on agrarian reform in the thirties. It may be added that consulting these and the National General Archives was greatly facilitated by the proper classification and cataloguing of their contents, the expert staffs, and the cooperation of their directors.

The chaotic Notarial Archives in Jiquilpan would have remained inaccessible without the assistance of the Judge of First Instance, Licenciado Julián Luviano. He put a couple of boys to work removing the huge masses of paper that had been piled in a damp room overrun with scorpions, spiders, tarantulas, and a thousand other bugs. Then he did everything he could to help bring some order to that mountain of records. Thanks to his efforts, it was possible to reconstruct, on the basis of notaries' books of registry and other documents, the history of landownership in the jurisdiction of San José from the point where the lode ran out in the National General Archives, at the end of the eighteenth century, up to the present time.

There was no luck to be had with municipal records. Sahuayo's are crammed into a latrine in the jail. By mere chance, I found in that compact mass a few volumes recording transactions among people from the last third of the nineteenth century. In Cojumatlán they keep files only from the previous year. Jiquilpan's city records were destroyed by the cristeros in 1927, and none have been kept since. The oldest documents to be found in San José de Gracia's Jefatura de Tenencia date from 1933. Thanks to the kindness of Elias Elizondo and Jorge Partida, respectively chief and secretary of the tenencia, I was able to examine all of these.

Parish registers turned out to be the principal written source for the history of San José. For the period 1718-1822, the records in Sahuayo were consulted; for the years 1823-1888, the registry in Cojumatlin was useful; from 1888 on, data were taken from the volumes of baptisms, deaths, and marriages in San José de Gracia. Other information was obtained in Mazamitla. I am grateful for the assistance of three parish priests: Antonio Méndez of Cojumatlán, José Santana Gracia of Mazamitla, and Carlos Moreno of San José.

As for private collections: the late Don José Dolores Pulido's account books, papers of various kinds accumulated by my mother, the cristero diary kept by Don Bernardo González Cirdenas, photograph albums belonging to Arcelia Sánchez and Honorato González, the many documents saved by Doña Rosa González Cárdenas, and the magnificent library and archives of Professor José Ramírez Flores were all extremely useful. Licenciado Bernardo González Godínez provided me with some most important papers and made useful observations of many kinds. The private records belonging to my mother, Dofia Josefina González Cárdenas, were particularly fruitful. They included documents concerning local religious organizations, as well as an abundant correspondence. Among all these papers was one thing I found very valuable: her notebooks containing records of household expenses. She has kept them without interruption for sixty years.

The techniques of formal interrogation were not used in recording oral tradition and the life of today. We conversed without questionnaires; our interviews had no agenda. This kind of informal discussion with country people turned out to be extremely productive. Of my hundred or so informants, none gave me more information than my father, Don Luis González Cárdenas, who has an excellent memory and has always been fascinated by recollection of the past.

Much of what I have to relate concerning events since 1932 or 1933 I did not read or hear; I saw it with my own eyes. Generally speaking, the introduction of this book is based on written sources, the first four chapters on oral tradition, and the remainder on my own experience.

I shall comment very briefly on my remaining historiographic procedures. I did not fall into those traps anticipated by so many researchers in the field: fabrication and duplicity. It was not very difficult to recognize and discount lies and pranks. I was able to evaluate broad sections of oral tradition by means of collation with documents. When there were no reliable written records to substantiate a given oral account, I accepted the verdict of collective memory. But what took more time than any of this detective work was the process of understanding: trying to rethink and refeel what the protagonists in San José's history had thought and felt. My fondness for my subject—or, if you will, my sympathy—was enormously helpful in this.

This book is not free from my own interpretation. Although its point of departure was George Trevelyan's thesis ("In history we are interested not only in causal relationships between events, but also in the events themselves," or words to that effect), the writer has not neglected explication: the "necessary explanation by means of final causes," as it has been called, and, to a greater extent, explanation by efficient causes.

Among possible architectures for regional history, two of the most popular are the chronological and the sectorial. Village scholars prefer the first. Thus, they are able to take in ephemeral events, but those with more lasting effects escape them. They give their readers a sense of change, but no picture of the community that lives through or sets in motion those changes. Professional historians take the opposite tack. They distribute their material according to duration and cultural sectors. They offer a great deal in the way of separate expositions of demographic, economic, social, political, and psychological structures; but they give little space to the conjunctive aspect, and none, or almost none, to the isolated event.

I have tried to find a structure into which can be fitted, without too much forcing, the slow and the rapid, the tiny and the huge, the chronological and the sectorial. This architecture may not be harmonious or even symmetrical, but it is quite functional. Besides, it is very simple. It makes use of the two time-honored frameworks: the temporal and the systematic. The first is the basic one. To begin with, the material has been divided into periods of unequal size: three hundred, fifty, thirty, and twenty-five years. Subdivisions within the three-hundred-year period are not very sharply defined; the others have been broken up in accordance with Ortega y Gasset's theory of generations. Each period has been sliced twice: longitudinally and transversely. Along the first cross section lies the narration of events, while in the second is presented the description of structure. At any given moment four planes are being considered (socioeconomic, political, psychological, and that of external relationships), but they do not always appear in that order, nor are they examined with the same degree of attention. It seemed desirable to keep the architecture in tune with the landscape, and not to allow it to disturb the actual interrelationships.

Local history, like biography, seems nearer to literature than do the other branches of historiography; this may be because concrete existence demands a literary treatment, or perhaps because the local historian's reading public is allergic to the dry style of most contemporary historians. The compiler of parochial history should be a man of letters. I should have liked to employ the kind of speech used in the community I was studying. I tried to do this, but when I reread the manuscript I realized that in San José people do not talk that way.

Self-Defense, Self-Criticism, and Aims

According to Professor Finberg, the parochial historian needs maturity, wide reading, a great deal of sympathy, and good legs. By maturity, Finberg means a long and varied experience with men, an acquaintance with many different modes of existence. As for reading, he recommends, among other things, books on national and international history. He calls for sympathy because only like can know like, and because one can learn a great deal about something only if he loves it. Sturdy legs are needed because the village historian must walk back and forth, over and over again, covering his study site and calling in person on the greatest possible number of local inhabitants.

I was lucky enough to have put Finberg's principles into practice, to some extent, before I had heard of them. Without really trying, I have attained the age of forty-two, and I have spent considerable time, willingly or otherwise, in various surroundings and occupations. For five years I taught a course in the history of culture, and, in order to do it even passably well, I had to read several histories of the human race. In addition, I have been asked on several occasions to teach Mexican history and thus have read quite a bit in the field.

Before undertaking the present investigation, I knew only a handful of writers of local history, and all of them were of the old school. In the process of my research I became acquainted with some others—but not (I regret to say) with the great contemporary authors from France, England, and the United States. Deep in my hole, far from libraries and bookstores, I had no chance to learn of the new currents in microhistoriography; these could have helped me in my handling of panoramic views, and, besides, they would have brought me up to date as far as parochial history is concerned.

My natural myopia made up, to some extent, for this lack of previous erudition. I love tiny facts; I rejoice in the details despised by great minds; I enjoy examining small things that are invisible to those who are endowed with wings and the eyes of eagles. I suppose Professor Finberg will approve of the fact that I am nearsighted and pedestrian by nature.

I made excursions on foot and on horseback; I traveled in all directions across the land from which springs the history I shall tell here; and, as I have said, I talked with villagers and people in the country.

The idea of writing this book came to me during a sabbatical leave granted by the Colegio de México in 1967. I had seven months to explore the archives mentioned above; to read works that would be of immediate use to me; to visit, one by one, the settlements within the tenencia of San José; to talk with people; to keep my eyes open and see as much as I could; and to listen to sounds and echoes.

My center of operations was a large old house in the village. One entered the house through a short, broad corridor that opened onto an interior porch surrounding a garden. In the center of the patio was a well with a stone rim, and, at one side, a fountain of glazed tiles. The most luxuriant plant in the garden was a granada de china, in whose shade many rose bushes, begonias, and belenes had died. Some other plants, not under that canopy, had survived. The porch, with its slanting roof, enclosed three sides of the patio. The floors were of tile. The bedrooms, the living room, and the dining room—all large—opened onto the porch. Behind the house lay the ecuaro, where there were growing a couple of each of the following trees and plants: peach, avocado, loquat, lime, piñon pine, apricot, maguey, prickly pear, fig, pomegranate, and palm. At the back of the property stood the storehouse and stable, housing two horses, two cows with their calves, half a dozen pigs, and a dozen chickens.

From the room where I worked I could look out on a panorama of red tile roofs, the church towers, the town square, Larios Mountain, and the blue sky. I assembled my material and wrote in the quiet hours of the early morning: from four until nine. In the afternoon, Armida took what had been written that morning, corrected mistakes, suggested improvements, made any changes she deemed necessary, and began to type. Because of Armida I cannot assume sole responsibility for these notes.

In another sense, too, I was not entirely the author of the book. In the introduction, put together with material from other places and other times, I think of myself more as an amanuensis, putting written statements into some kind of order, assembling old attestations with scissors and paste. As for the first and second parts, my function has been that of an interpreter of my fellow townsmen's views of their own past; I feel like the villages official chronicler, compiling and reconstructing a collective memory. In the last part I abandon the roles of laborer and intermediary; I put in my oar and begin giving opinions. This is, of course, the part of the book that is most subjective, most exclusively mine-although perhaps not the most attractive to my readers.

These notes were not intended—in the beginning, at least—for an academic public. During the research and writing I kept my neighbors in mind more than I did my colleagues. I see no reason to regret having made that choice, if only because, as Azorín said, "the admiration of modest people is just as much worth having as that of celebrities."

As things stand today, local history can be sure of only a local reading public. People in villages and on farms do not buy books to build libraries or adorn their elegant living rooms; and they do not read them, or merely begin them, or only leaf through them in order to give the impression of being cultured, as many city people do.

If a farmer buys a book, he reads it from cover to cover, and lends it to his friends. Often several neighbors will gather to hear it read aloud. The present work will not sell as well as some others with academic prestige, but it will undoubtedly have more readers. I believe that my book will be read and listened to by thousands of people, for I am sure of the local patriotism in my native region and of the curiosity among the inhabitants of the surrounding parishes.

The local historian's rustic and limited reading public is attractive in another way: it is steadfast. Among city dwellers, most authors (except for the classic writers who are read by certain select souls because they love them, and by students because they must) are soon forgotten; their books go out of style overnight. But when someone publishes a few mediocre or badly written pages about a village, in that village they are read and reread; they are apt to become local classics. One can be sure that they will be a subject of passionate study for generations, or as long as the village endures.

But it would be misleading on my part to declare that I hope for the approval only of those to whom this book is directly addressed. I should be pleased if it proved to be useful beyond the borders of the plateau known as La Meseta del Tigre, beyond the limits of San José and the other towns that are its friends and rivals. Moved by this desire for recognition, I submitted my manuscript to the Seminario de Profesores e Investigadores del Centro de Estudios Históricos at the Colegio de México. Several teachers, friends, and students read it and gave me their comments. Many of their suggestions have been followed. My debt to teachers Daniel Cosío Villegas, José Gaos, and Victor L. Urquidi is a very great one. I have many reasons to be grateful also to my colleagues Maria del Carmen Velázquez, Jan Bazant, Romeo Flores, Enrique Florescano, Bernardo García, Moisés González Navarro, Roque González Salazar, Jorge Alberto Manrique, Jean Meyer, Alejandro Moreno Toscano, Luis Muro, Rafael Segovia, Berta Ulloa, and Josefina Vázquez de Knauth.

Note Concerning the Second Edition

The kind reception accorded the 1968 edition, as well as my discovery of additional private records and individuals with good memories, has prompted this second edition of Pueblo en vilo, with its amplifications, deletions, and corrections. At the suggestion of the critic Fernando Diaz, the French translator Anny Meyer, and other friends, Part One has been considerably abridged and retitled "Three Beginnings." The original Part Two (now Part One) contains two new paragraphs; the present Part Two, seven new paragraphs; and Part Three, eleven. The "Small Epilogue," now much more substantial, has been rechristened as "Three Conclusions." Errors in events and dates have been rectified, and certain equivocal statements have been amended so as to leave no room for doubt. For the new photographs I am indebted to the kindness and skill of Israel Katzman.