The tenth volume of the Documentos Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana comprises 188 documents treating the revolutionary activities of Jesús, Ricardo, and Enrique Flores Magón. Its organization is chronological for the most part, and it covers the years 1905 to 1914. As in many of the previous tomes, each document is preceded by a brief synopsis of the content and an abbreviated guide to the archival collection from which it was taken.

The documents in the present volume are almost all published here for the first time. Only the Liberal Plan of 1906, promulgated in St. Louis, Missouri, is readily available elsewhere in published form. Approximately ninety percent of the included documents were extracted from the Archivo de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores. The remaining ten percent come from the Archivo General de la Nación, the Archivo Histórico de la Defensa Nacional, and the private collections of Isidro Fabela.

This collection will be of special importance to Mexicanists interested in the developmental phases of the Flores Magón brothers ’ political philosophy and the 1911 revolutionary movement which they launched in Baja California. The correspondence clearly indicates an ideological evolution from anti-Díaz moderation in 1905 to twentiethcentury liberalism in 1908 and 1909 and thence to radical anarchism by 1911 and 1912. When this correspondence is viewed in the context of the social and political events of the same years, perhaps some enterprising biographer will be able to come to grips with the universal query regarding all anarchists: What drove them to this Utopian extreme ?

Although many anarchistic expressions can be found in the correspondence, the purest and most classic example appears in a letter written by Ricardo to Pascual Orozco in September 1911, soliciting the Chihuahua rebel’s support.

¿ Ha realizado alguna vez algún gobierno los deseos del pueblo ? ¿ Ha satisfecho alguna vez algún gobierno las aspiraciones de la clase trabajadora? . . . Engañados los pueblos por una falsa educación, han pretendido siempre dejar en manos de la Autoridad la solución de sus problemas . . . a pesar de los golpes que ha sufrido la humanidad por parte de sus gobernantes . . . ¿Vale la pena derramar sangre para tener un nuevo gobierno? Hago a usted esta pregunta porque lo creo sincero, porque considero que usted habrá reflexionado sobre la inutilidad de los gobiernos . . . los liberales procuraremos impedir con todas nuestras fuerzas que vuelve a implantarse en México ningún gobierno (pp. 355-356).

When Lowell Blaisdell wrote The Desert Revolution, Baja California, 1911 (Madison, 1962), he did not have access to the documentation in Relaciones Exteriores. However, there is virtually nothing in the present collection to challenge his interesting thesis that vested interests both in the United States and Mexico grossly exaggerated the aura of filibustering around the activities of the Flores Magón brothers. The work of the P.L.M. in Mexico’s northwest during 1911 is covered at length in this volume, and although the consular dispatches do often equate the insurrection with United States filibustering, the documents also indicate that the Díaz bureaucracy was doing everything in its power to discredit the movement. Nothing was more natural than this effort to give it the stigma of a filibuster, both because Americans had invaded Baja California in times past, and because the Flores Magón brothers did much of their recruiting and organizing in the United States. While this collection cannot be used alone to disprove the alleged relationship, it does prove the folly of simply passing over the 1911 insurrection as another in a long series of filibustering attempts.

Volume X is a logical complement to the preceding five volumes, which have appeared under the title Revolución y Régimen Maderista. Except for the fact that this collection examines some of the precursory activities of the Flores Magón brothers and extends slightly beyond the Maderista period, it can profitably be considered a companion volume to the impressive Madero set. Mexicanists in the United States are now awaiting some indication of the direction in which the Comisión de Investigaciones Históricas plans to move next.