In 1953 the Mexican Congress approved the reformation of the 1917 constitution whereby the women of Mexico would be permitted to vote in national elections. This small book by Ward M. Morton, professor of government at Southern Illinois University, traces the vicissitudes of the drive for woman suffrage from the beginning to the Revolution of 1910 to its success in the 1950s. His concluding chapters give interesting commentaries on the pre- and post-1953 electoral politics of Mexico and the possible effect of the woman’s vote on the elections. Perhaps the best commentary is that the official party, PRI, won regularly before 1953 and has continued to win ever since. While there are no profound discoveries in this book, it does give new light on a facet of Mexican politics never before studied. It will be a useful addition to other recent books on Mexican politics and government.

It is perhaps inevitable that minor studies such as this focus too closely on the subject at hand. Important matters are ignored or slighted. Thus, we read about the debates on woman suffrage in the Constituent Congress of 1916-1917 and are not made aware of the context of these discussions. These particular debates arc isolated and pulled from context. In reading the entire Diario one sees that the chief reason women were not given the franchise at Querétaro was that the delegates simply did not trust them—or the priests who were said to dominate them.

And it does appear to be stretching things a bit when Professor Morton writes that “Mexico’s grant of political asylum to [Trotsky and his wife], who had always favored equality of the sexes, seemed to offer further assurance that the drive for woman suffrage could count on success.”

Both the virtues and faults of this book are well summarized on the jacket: “While we may lose the general perspective and the full relationship of the particular subject to the general development of national life and of world events and to the causes which produce the problem, we are permitted, nevertheless, to distinguish precisely the clear line of development of this one subject to be found in the work of Ward M. Morton.”