For three-quarters of a century, Mexico's ruling revolutionary party sponsored a massive May Day parade of working people before the National Palace. With participants numbering in the hundreds of thousands, the annual parade demonstrated the devotion of state-allied union members to the revolutionary regime and the latter's dedication to organized labor as a central pillar and crucial symbol in its system of rule. This historical relationship continues to occupy Mexicanists, who have long sought to unravel the terms of engagement between a regime that paradoxically arose by dint of revolutionary mobilization yet resulted in new forms of authoritarian rule over those popular forces.

Redeeming the Revolution examines this complicated relationship in the years that followed the government massacre of hundreds of protesters at Tlatelolco in October 1968. That event, according to the author, fundamentally altered Mexico's political culture and forced authorities to...

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