Porfirio Díaz is receiving much historical revision of late. His centralizing rule still appears to have depended on managing elites and the intensive though not necessarily pervasive use of force. However, the veneer of economic liberalism has been shattered by a host of studies demonstrating substantial state economic intervention. By extension, he is shown to have had more autonomy vis-à-vis foreign business than previously argued. Mark Wasserman adds important depth to these new interpretations of Díaz. Drawing on Peter Evans's idea about Brazil's triple alliance, Wasserman contends that foreign businesspeople were part of an evolving “elite-foreign enterprise system” in which their interests were balanced against those of other elites and federal, regional, and local officials. Most revealing in Wasserman's analysis is this inclusion of local and regional interests in checking both foreign aspirations and federal actions. Díaz's power was never absolute, but...

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