Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside
Alexander Avina (Author)
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DescriptionThe 1960s represented a revolutionary moment around the globe. In rural Mexico, several guerrilla groups organized to fight against the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Specters of Revolution chronicles two peasant guerrilla organizations led by schoolteachers, the National Revolutionary Civil Association (ACNR) and the Party of the Poor (PDLP), which waged revolutionary armed struggles to overthrow the PRI. Both emerged to fight decades of massacres and everyday forms of terror committed by the government against citizen social movements that demanded the redemption of constitutional rights. This book reveals that these movements developed after years of seeking legal, constitutional pathways of redress, focused on economic justice and electoral rights, and became subject to brutal counterinsurgencies. Relying upon recently declassified intelligence and military documents and oral histories, it documents how long-held rural utopian ideals drove peasant political action that gradually became radicalized in the face of persistent state terror and violence. Placing Mexico into the broader history of post-1945 Latin America, Specters of Revolution explodes the myth that Mexico constituted an island of relative peace and stability surrounded by a sea of military dictatorships during the Cold War.
Oxford University Press, USA
June 24, 2014
6.16 X 9.22 X 0.74 inches | 0.81 pounds
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About the Author
Alexander Avina is Assistant Professor of History at Florida State University.
"Specters of Revolution offers a penetrating account of guerrilla struggles in modern Mexico. Alexander Aviña captures how peasant longings, political repression, and the violence of poverty created a daring movement for justice. The state's response-a dirty war-evokes the darkest moments of Latin America's military regimes. At times hopeful, at times tragic, Aviña provides a profoundly moving Cold War drama."--Tanalís Padilla, author of Rural Resistance in the Land of Zapata: The Jaramillista Movement and the Myth of the Pax Priísta, 1940-1962
"This book examines a haunting legacy of violence in contemporary Mexico. Alexander Aviña writes an engaging and partisan account, but also a serious effort to offer historical clarity on a period that is still too close for detached explanations."--Pablo Piccato, author of Tyranny of Opinion: Honor in the Construction of the Mexican Public Sphere