The contributions of Luis Chávez Orozco to Mexican historiography are legion. One of the most significant, and until now least appreciated of these efforts, was his 1936 publication of selected essays by José María González which had originally appeared in the Mexico City working-class newspaper El Hijo del Trabajo during the mid and late-1870s. González was the most expressive member of a radical artisan intelligentsia which surfaced in Mexico City while the Industrial Revolution wrought havoc with the traditional economy and society. González bitterly denounced the government for the hardships of the artisans, urban workers and campesinos. He cited the omnipresent poverty, the economic instability and continuing political chaos as evidence of a corrupt and worse than useless Mexican government.
Unfortunately, despite his praiseworthy effort, Chávez Orozco in making his choices left some of González’ most important essays out of this volume including “Carecen de Vergüenza y Pretenden Tenerla” and “Miseria,” while including only one of a series of articles entitled “La Cuestión Indígena.” The result is a valuable contribution which lends a less than complete picture of his thinking and of the social movement he represented. Enrique Florescano and SepSetentas are to be commended for rescuing these valuable materials from the remoteness of the archives where they lay and making them available to the wider world of Mexican scholarship.