For the last twenty-five years, this work has served as a basic reference on Francisco Madero. It established precedents for the biographies of leading revolutionary personalities that followed. In conceptualization and sources, it is a timepiece, representative of our historical knowledge in the 1950s. The original text is unaltered in this new edition, but it contains a delightful hard-hitting defense of Madero in a sixty-page resume of the historical literature produced since its original appearance.

Beginning with additional details about Madero’s family and personal life, the author then lauds Cosío Villegas’ work on the ancien régime, incorrectly giving that scholar credit for the invention of the rubric Porfiriato. Actually, the term, used contemporaneously with Díaz, was revived by Alfonso Reyes. The author gives an unusually positive appraisal of Porfirian economic and social programs while noting some of the shortcomings.

Professor Ross broadens his earlier defense of Madero—against the defamations of Limantour, Díaz, H. L. Wilson, and others, as a limited, idealistic eccentric in hopelessly over his head—to include the equally significant arguments of Peter Calvert and Michael C. Meyer. In his discussion of Porfirian historical works no mention is made of John Coatsworth or James Cockcroft.

He remains loyal to Madero as a resolute and determined individual making history (p. 340). This is clearly a heroic figure creating events, not mere flotsam tossed up and carried along by the deep-running tide of socioeconomic change that some scholars envision. This book was a significant contribution and is still recommended reading for scholars of the Mexican Revolution.