Do commissioned biographies have anything to teach us, or do they only offer self-serving pablum? The question is germane in Mexico, where independently written lives are a scarce commodity. A dearth of quality is especially notable in business biography. In contrast to UK or US traditions, which have produced warts-and-all lives of such titans as Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs by writers whose subjects gave them open access, in Mexico the great business families expect from their chroniclers utmost deference.

Gabriela Recio Cavazos's Don Eugenio Garza Sada: Ideas, acción, legado is thus a rare creature: a family-commissioned work that, while generally flattering, situates a business leader in an often-tense relationship with the federal government, acknowledges the limits to his iron will, and gives historians plenty to ponder with its main areas of focus: the building of a multi-industrial empire based on the...

You do not currently have access to this content.