The latest in our series of collected reviews of new works in Latin American history is an issue on 19th Century Mexico. The issue brings together a number of monographs that examine ideas of governance, nation building, and the state during an era of consolidating political power. Extending beyond the Porfiriato, these works seek to understand who took part in cementing new ideas about Mexico and Mexicanness during the century after Independence. Mónica Salas-Landa explores how the pre-Hispanic past became Mexican in Christina Bueno's The Pursuit of Ruins: Archaeology, History, and the Making of Modern Mexico (2016). Jethro Hernández Berrones reviews Kathryn A. Sloan's examination of the relationship between the Mexican people and ideas about death and dying in Death in the City: Suicide and the Social Imaginary in Modern Mexico (2017). Zachary Brittsan looks at Stephen Neufeld's The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876-1911 (2017) to explore the experiences of military men during the Porfiriato. Marc Antone demonstrates how Will Fowler's Independent Mexico: The Pronunciamiento in the Age of Santa Anna, 1821–1858 (2016) uses an impressive collection of mid-19th Century political pronouncements to show how the standardization of this type of speech both stabilized the language of politics and destabilized the state. Chris Boyer demonstrates how Anna Rose Alexander uses the lenses of technology and danger to explore the spread of new regimes of expertise in City on Fire: Technology, Social Change, and the Hazards of Progress in Mexico City, 1860-1910 (2016). Finally, in her examination of Timo Schaefer's Liberalism as Utopia: The Rise and Fall of Legal Rule in Post‑Colonial Mexico, 1820-1900 (2017), Karen Caplan illustrates how a multi-regional work can help us integrate and evaluate a recent body of revisionist scholarship. On other networks, reviewers have examined works pertaining to the Mexican American War, radio and the press, and alcohol.
Reviews from Other Networks: