Professor Bernstein has performed a very useful chore in his book by drawing together in one place and in English material sufficient to give a student adequate ground to stand on while considering the role of mines and metals in the history of Mexico. It is a mine of information on the interrelation of copper, silver, zinc, gold, and coal exploitation and the connection of those activities with the development of Mexican railroads, electrical power, organized labor, and smelting. On the mining regions of Mexico, the famous mines, and the great smelters the book is superb.

In his title Bernstein implies that he will study the interaction of politics, economics, and technology. Since he seems to view politics primarily as laws, and economics mainly as statistics, his strength really is in technology. It becomes impossible for him to correlate the three. Laws, the product of politics, are ever changing while politics remains remarkably stable; economies involves the social relations of production, which statistics tend to conceal. Only technology is pure and simple and almost what it looks like. The key to the interrelationship appears twice in the book, but seemingly accidentally rather than deliberately: “. . . government policy no longer favors mining nor encourages mine investments by either Mexicans or foreigners” (p. 261). And, “. . . since the industry produces only 8.6 per cent of the national income and employs only 1.8 per cent of the economically active population, it has little call for more help in view of the internal communication needs of the nation” (fn. 46, pp. 368-369). Link these statements to some statistics and some facts: Guggenheim interests smelted 40 percent of all lead and 20 percent of all silver produced in Mexico around 1900 (p. 38) ; the mine La Esperanza (Guggenheim-Weetman Pearson) in 1906 paid dividends equal to 160 percent of capitalization and dividends averaged 68.8 percent from 1904-10 (p. 56); “Only the United States silver purchase policy saved the Mexican industry” (p. 162). Why would Bernstein find the “. . . logic of nationalism . . . ofttimes bewildering?” (p. 369)

Repasando: Josiah Gregg in Commerce of the Prairies has a description of the patio process at work in Jesús-María during 1835 that Bernstein might find interesting. Préstamos (p. 90) needs the accent mark. The Bucareli Conference did not sacrifice the landholdings of United States citizens in Mexico (p. 127); it did provide for payment in Mexican bonds for lands expropriated up to 4,336 acres and in immediate cash for larger acreage. Mexico is not a tragic land (p. 277); it is tierra de dios (Mexicans say), has known international peace since 1917 (in fact), and has enjoyed one of the longest stretches of internal peace known (1600-1800). Labor was called down hard by Cárdenas (Bernstein to the contrary, p. 266) when it was ordered to revise its operation of the oil and railway industries or lose control of both; “Ríotous celebrations” (p. 184) on March 18, 1938, when oil was nationalized were not likely—the announcement came at 10:00 P.M.

Bernstein’s bibliography is extensive and impressive, but it seems to me that his citations come around too often to Engineering and Mining Journal, and the hand of the Mexican Chamber of Mines is visible when its mere presence would be enough. Bernstein has not written a history of the Mexican mining industry, 1890-1950. He has produced a good manual on Mexican mining resources and the technology of their exploitation with references to the economics and politics of the industry—not a mean accomplishment but less than one would hope for.