Without question, one of the most neglected topics in scholarship on the first half of the twentieth century in Mexico is the relationship between the armed forces and civilian political leadership. It is a crucial theme central to the evolution and success of the authoritarian Mexican model, setting the country apart from its peers in the region and elsewhere. Thomas Rath has made use of newly available archival materials in Mexico as well as existing material from US and European archives to examine this issue during four formative decades. He argues in this work that many factors played a role in the process of subordinating the military to civilian control, including “a range of forces within state and society,” and that this process was “markedly incomplete” (p. 2). He also suggests that demilitarization, defined as a decline in the importance of the military’s...

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