As the concluding volume of a four-part study of pronunciamientos (forceful negotiations), Independent Mexico is a fitting capstone to nearly two decades of prolific research and publication on the topic. Will Fowler expertly mines the existing literature and a massive database at the University of St. Andrews—a significant portion of which he has shaped—to create a work that is both conceptually ambitious and cohesive. He navigates several historiographical currents along the way, notably augmenting a line of thinking that has been developed by Jaime Rodríguez O. Much more than a compilation of greatest hits, Independent Mexico makes the case for a narrative history that reappraises the role of violence and charismatic caudillos as the driving forces behind national politics in early nineteenth-century Mexico.

Whereas Fowler has claimed elsewhere that pronunciamientos are the best way to understand Mexico's early political history, here he...

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