Zapata Lives! is an anthropological account of the “nation-views” of four Mexican communities: Santa María del Tule and Unión Zapata in the central valleys of Oaxaca and Guadalupe Tepeyac and La Realidad in the jungle of eastern Chiapas. Lynn Stephen contends that the divergent perceptions of the nation that she encountered “are concretely tied to regional and historical differences in long-term relationships among communities, individuals in those communities, and agents of the state” (p. xl). She adds that, with regard to views of the nation, “[W]hat goes on at the margins of the state, particularly where its legitimacy is in dispute, also affects what happens at the center” (p. 82). One tool she uses to distinguish between local forms of nationalism is an examination of how residents remember Emiliano Zapata.

Stephen is most interested in the 1930s and the 1990s, periods during which she believes the Mexican state sought to...

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