With thirteen volumes completed out of twenty-three projected the Fabela documents are rapidly becoming a landmark in Mexican revolutionary historiography. As the project passes the half way mark, four volumes have been devoted to the Constitutionalist revolution, five to the Madero period, one to the activities of the Flores Magón brothers, one to a more general examination of the precursory movements, and two to the Pershing punitive expedition.

The five-volume set subtitled Revolución y régimen maderista offers a chronological survey of Francisco Madero’s political career from his fight against the Díaz dictatorship through his arrest and subsequent assassination in February 1913. The volume under consideration here consists of some 220 documents treating the five-month period from August to December 1911. Coverage is divided almost equally between the campaign and election which brought Madero to the presidency and his first two months in the office.

It is doubtful that the documents published here for the first time will substantively challenge the conclusions of Madero’s leading biographers or even bring them into question. Stanley R. Ross, Charles C. Cumberland, and José Valadés all worked with most of the same documents in manuscript form. The student interested, however, in pursuing subjects such as the presidential election of 1911, the interim presidency of Francisco de la Barra, or the origins of Zapatista antipathy toward the new government, would do well to begin his documentary investigations here.

The one shortcoming of the present volume is its failure to recognize General Bernardo Reyes as one of the central figures of the five-month period under consideration. While Madero’s campaign is developed, Reyes’ opposition candidacy in the election of 1911 and his abortive revolution emerge as peripheral rather than pivotal issues conditioning the nature of the new regime. Although many pertinent data were extracted from the Archivo General de la Nación, the Archivo Histórico de la Defensa Nacional, the Archivo de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, and Fabela’s own private archive, the rich collection of Reyes papers in the Archivo Espinosa de los Monteros was tapped for only one document. A criticism such as this, however, only underscores the obvious. No two compilers could be expected to approach such a task with the same historical frame of reference or with exactly the same interpretation on the type of monographic research which remains to be done.

The problems involved in carrying out an ambitious long-term project such as this must be tremendous. The members of the Comisión de Investigaciones Históricas de la Revolución Mexicana should be reminded that as they embark upon the second half, they are proceeding with the encouragement and admiration of Mexicanists to the north.