This book is a richly documented, analytical monograph that contributes significantly to the historiography of church-state relations and state consolidation in postrevolutionary Mexico. Enrique Guerra Manzo analyzes the main issues affecting church-state relations before examining how these relations played out in three regions of the Mexican state of Michoacán. A central argument is that the Catholic Church hierarchy, by reining in the Rerum Novarum–inspired Catholic activists of the Liga Nacional Defensora de la Libertad Religiosa with the modus vivendi that ended the Cristiada of 1926–29, facilitated the emergence of Mexico's authoritarian postrevolutionary state. These activists had created the National Catholic Party (1911–14) and an array of Catholic labor, youth, women's, and parents' civil organizations during and immediately after the Mexican Revolution; the author sees these “democratic Catholic intransigents” as key players in the effort to create political pluralism in a nation...

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