Robert M. Buffington’s compelling study makes a contribution that extends well beyond what a reader might initially expect from a tightly focused study of satiric newspapers and broadsides produced in Mexico City for working-class (and other) audiences between 1900 and 1910. Methodologically, Buffington provides a master class in close reading. He skillfully contextualizes what were in some cases ephemeral texts, tracing, for example, the carefully traversed line between straightforward veneration of the “immortal” Benito Juárez (the kind of thing that one would expect from newspapermen steeped in the traditions of popular liberalism), on one hand, and Porfirian censors’ awareness that evocations of Juárez could also be criticisms of the dictator on the other. More importantly, Buffington offers richly layered analyses of the cultural politics at work in texts and images that a less sophisticated historian might dismiss as simply comic sketches....

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