In Mexican Exodus Julia G. Young challenges scholarly claims that the Cristero War (1926–29) was a Mexican rebellion contained primarily within the country’s west-central heartland. Instead, following Mexican emigrants and religious refugees across the border to communities in the United States, Young demonstrates that the Crisitiada had an enduring and formative relationship with its diaspora both during and after the conflict. By reframing the context and legacy of the Cristero War, Young’s work contributes to Mexican historiographies of religion, migration, and transnational state formation. Using a unique set of primary sources in both Mexico and the United States, Young mines an impressive collection of traditional archival records, institutional and church holdings, and private collections in addition to a series of oral history interviews of Cristeros themselves.

In chapter 1 Young examines the historical origins of the bloody civil conflict, situating it within...

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