Baitenmann, Helga. Nebraska, 2020
Much has been written about the Mexican Revolution, which overthrew the entrenched government of Porfirio Díaz in 1911. In this revision of the author's dissertation in historical anthropology, Baitenmann (Univ. of London) investigates one piece of this important subject with a detailed comparison of Emiliano Zapata's and Venustiano Carranza's competing agrarian reform programs, which arose in the aftermath. The study is framed by a discussion of the judiciary's role in defining these programs and local villagers' agency in determining how they would be implemented. Within this complicated set of issues one notable question was whether local communities would demand the restitution of ancestral lands or the expropriation of hacienda property, as a lack of clear land titles and boundary disputes between rural communities made redistribution of land difficult. Baitenmann convincingly demonstrates that these land reform programs were far more complex than the dominant narrative suggests. In contrast to other studies, she contends that Zapata and Carranza favored liberal notions of private property rather than cooperative, communalist, socialist, or anarchist solutions. Baitenmann excels at grounding her argument in exhaustive archival research within the context of the broader literature.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students.
| Marc Becker's Home Page
| firstname.lastname@example.org |