Porfirio Diaz (Profiles In Power)

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9780582292673: Porfirio Diaz (Profiles In Power)
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The fall of Porfirio Diaz has traditionally been presented as a watershed between old and new: an old style repressive and conservative government, and the more democratic and representative system that flowered in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. Now this view is being challenged by a new generation of historians, who point out that Diaz originally rose to power in alliance with anti-conservative forces and was a modernising force as well as a dictator. Drawing together the threads of this revisionist reading of the Porfiriato, Garner reassesses a political career that spanned more than forty years, and examines the claims that post-revolutionary Mexico was not the break with the past that the revolutionary inheritors claimed.

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'a sophicated revisionist analysis...there is little doubt that Garner's study will dramatically change the way in which the porfiriato has been depicted and understood'Will Fowler, Journal of Latin American Studies "Garner displays, in general, commendable open-mindedness and balance." Alan Knight, History

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  Porfirio Díaz, President of Mexico (1876-1880, 1884-1911) dominated his country during a crucial phase in its development as a modern nation. His regime has mostly been viewed from the perspective of the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) which finally forced him into exile - the abuse of power is seen as the principal cause of his downfall.  Díaz has more recently come to be seen in a rather less damning light. This profile places the regime in its more appropriate nineteenth-century context, highlighting the difficulty of implementing liberal policies in societies with strong colonial traditions, and of balancing material development with order and stability. In Mexico, Díaz oversaw real material achievements, and successfully avoided serious domestic conflict, but sank into repressive tactics as his regime became progressively undermined by its own internal contradictions. This book is an account of political survival and demise, this is the first biography in English for decades of a central figure in the history of Latin America. Paul Garner is Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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