When historian Hernán Menéndez Rodríguez died suddenly on 6 January 2002, just after his beloved Sunday game of béisbol, scholars of Yucatán lost both a friend and an admired colleague. The scion of one of the most distinguished intellectual families in Yucatán, Hernán had been raised and trained as a journalist, working since the 1960s with his brother Mario Renato. They directed the famous leftist Mexico City magazine ¿Por Qúe? (1968–74) and since 1991 the Mérida daily Por Esto! As editor of the Sunday arts and literature supplement, Unicornio, Hernán gave many international scholars (including myself) the chance to publish for an appreciative Mexican public.

Hernán was a working journalist for more than two decades before he came to seriously practice his second vocation: the writing of history. His annotated reedition of Crescencio Carrillo y Ancona and Juan Francisco Molina Solís’s...

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