Felipe Arturo Ávila Espinosa and Pedro Salmerón Sanginés have produced a workmanlike survey of Mexico's revolutionary decade from 1910 to 1920. The authors' ambition, rather than simply to produce another general narrative, is to respond to what they regard as an ahistorical strain of historiography in which scholars have misinterpreted the revolution because of what came in its wake. As the authors explain, scholars cannot blame the Zapatistas for the authoritarian and heavily bureaucratized state that took form decades later any more than they can blame Russia's Bolsheviks in 1917 for the excesses of Stalinism. In asserting the revolution's dynamic, multiclass, and popular character, the authors are not offering anything entirely new. The point nevertheless bears repeating, since many have dismissed the revolution as something less than revolutionary.

The rest of their narrative proceeds through the familiar cast of characters and cascade...

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