Recent research on urban social movements in cities such as Mexico City, Monterrey, and Veracruz has deepened our understanding of the Mexican Revolution and, in some cases, even challenged agrarianist interpretations. German historian Benedikt Behrens makes an important contribution to the literature with this exhaustive study of urban movements and radical reform in the state of Veracruz between 1918 and 1932. Originally a University of Hannover dissertation, Behrens’s monograph analyzes the rise and fall of radical labor (i.e., port-, rail-, and textile-workers’ unions) and the movements of renters and colonos in the port of Veracruz and the textile center of Orizaba. Though aspects of this story are already well documented (most recently in Andrew Wood’s fascinating account of the Veracruz renters’ strike and Bernardo García’s work on Orizaba), the merit in Behrens’s study is its wide chronological and geographical scope and massive documentation,...

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