Bitter Harvest offers an interpretation of the rural origins of the Zapatista revolution (1910 – 19) in the state of Morelos. This forms the greatest historiographic value of the book. Hart proposed to explain “what started the revolution [in Morelos] and how a defeated rebellion in one of the smallest states in Mexico helped initiate a nationwide land-reform program that lasted for most of the twentieth century” (p. vii). The author recounts an entertaining story that captures in its web local, national, and international events of great importance. He argues that the Zapatista revolution, which emerged during the same period as other rebellions in the north of Mexico, acquired a power of considerable dimension in the Mexican Revolution.

Bitter Harvest grew out of the author’s doctoral dissertation, constructed of nine chapters ordered chronologically. These chapters describe the geography of Morelos, its ethnic composition,...

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