John Womack’s excellent study of Zapata and his fight to protect the rights of Mexican campesinos in Morelos deserves the praise it has received from reviewers. Integrating a mountain of documents, Womack writes with clarity and a sensitive understanding of Mexican villagers. I found the book fascinating and exciting. It broadened my understanding of events I have read about before, and of people in Morelos whom I have studied closely during the past eight years. (The small state of Morelos is directly to the south of the Federal District. The capital, Cuernavaca, is about 40 miles from Mexico City.)
Zapata and the Mexican Revolution is also an important source of information about the roots of peasant revolution. To begin with, Womack authoritatively dissolves the mythological view of Zapata’s revolution. According to this myth, the hacienda peons, after years of semi-feudal slavery, rose up behind Zapata and overthrew their masters, demanding land and ...
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