From Liberal to Revolutionary Oaxaca
The View from the South, Mexico 1867-1911
By Francie R. Chassen-Lopez
(Penn State University Press, Paperback, 9780271025124, 624pp.)
Publication Date: February 2005
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From Liberal to Revolutionary Oaxaca aims at finally setting Mexican history free of stereotypes about the southern state of Oaxaca, long portrayed as a traditional and backward society resistant to the forces of modernization and marginal to the Revolution. Chassen-Lopez challenges this view of Oaxaca as a negative mirror image of modern Mexico, presenting in its place a much more complex reality. Her analysis of the confrontations between Mexican liberals' modernizing projects and Oaxacan society, especially indigenous communal villages, reveals not only conflicts but also growing linkages and dependencies. She portrays them as engaging with and transforming each other in an ongoing process of contestation, negotiation, and compromise.