Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Setting the Virgin on Fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán Peasants, and the Redemption of the Mexican Revolution / Edition 1

Setting the Virgin on Fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán Peasants, and the Redemption of the Mexican Revolution / Edition 1

by Marjorie BeckerMarjorie Becker
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In this beautifully written work, Marjorie Becker reconstructs the cultural encounters which led to Mexico's post-revolutionary government. She sets aside the mythology surrounding president Lázaro Cárdenas to reveal his dilemma: until he and his followers understood peasant culture, they could not govern.

This dilemma is vividly illustrated in Michoacán. There, peasants were passionately engaged in a Catholic culture focusing on the Virgin Mary. The Cardenistas, inspired by revolutionary ideas of equality and modernity, were oblivious to the peasants' spirituality and determined to transform them. A series of dramatic conflicts forced Cárdenas to develop a government that embodied some of the peasants' complex culture.

Becker brilliantly combines concerns with culture and power and a deep historical empathy to bring to life the men and women of her story. She shows how Mexico's government today owes much of its subtlety to the peasants of Michoacán.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520084193
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 01/04/1996
Series: Twentieth Century Japan Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Marjorie Becker is Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern California.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Official History and the Myth of Secular Redemption
2. A Culture of Purity and Redemption
3. From the Margins of Purity to the Margins of Danger
4. Call Out a Posse, Gather Up Their Music, Teach Them to Sing: The Reinvention of the
Indian in Postrevolutionary Michoacan
5. Revolutionary Lessons, I: Purity up in Smoke
6. Revolutionary Lessons, II: The Compensations of Indianism
7. Some Lessons of Their Own
8. An End to the Innocence
Conclusion: The Redemption of the Mexican Revolution


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