Beginning about 1900 the expanded international role of
the United States brought increased attention to the cultures of other
peoples and a growth of interest in Latin America. The Enormous Vogue of
Things Mexican traces the evolution of cultural relations between the United
States and Mexico from 1920 to 1935, identifying the individuals, institutions,
and themes that made up this fascinating chapter in the history of the
A comprehensive, ambitious, and valuable work on an increasingly important subject
In the Preface to her new study, Latin Americanist Helen Delpar writes, "Since the seventeenth century, Americans have turned their gaze toward the lands to the south, seeing in them fields for religious proselytization, economic enterprise, and military conquest." Delpar, consequently, aims her considerable gaze back at those Americans and the story behind their longtime fascination with Latin American culture. By visiting seminal works and the cultures from which they emerged, following the effects of changes in scholarly norms and political developments on the training of students, and evaluating generations of scholarship in texts, monographs, and journal articles, Delpar illuminates the growth of scholarly inquiry into Latin American history, anthropology, geography, political science, economics, sociology, and other social science disciplines.
Yucatan has been called “a world apart”—cut off from the rest of Mexico by geography and culture. Yet, despite its peripheral location, the region experienced substantial change in the decades after independence. As elsewhere in Mexico, apostles of modernization introduced policies intended to remold Yucatan in the image of the advanced nations of the day. Indeed, modernizing change began in the late colonial era and continued throughout the 19th century as traditional patterns of land tenure were altered and efforts were made to divest the Catholic Church of its wealth and political and intellectual influence. Some changes, however, produced fierce resistance from both elites and humbler Yucatecans and modernizers were frequently forced to retreat or at least reach accommodation with their foes.
Covering topics from the early 19th century to the late 20th century, the essays in this collection illuminate both the processes of change and the negative reactions that they frequently elicited. The diversity of disciplines covered by this volume—history, anthropology, sociology, economics—illuminates at least three overriding challenges for study of the peninsula today. One is politics after the decline of the Institutional Revolutionary Party: What are the important institutions, practices, and discourses of politics in a post-postrevolutionary era? A second trend is the scholarly demystification of the Maya: Anthropologists have shown the difficulties of applying monolithic terms like Maya in a society where ethnic relations are often situational and ethnic boundaries are fluid. And a third consideration: researchers are only now beginning to grapple with the region’s transition to a post-henequen economy based on tourism, migration, and the assembly plants known as maquiladoras. Challenges from agribusiness and industry will no doubt continue to affect the peninsula’s fragile Karst topography and unique environments.
Contributors: Eric N. Baklanoff, Helen Delpar, Paul K. Eiss, Ben W. Fallaw, Gilbert M. Joseph, Marie Lapointe, Othón Baños Ramírez, Hernán Menéndez Rodríguez, Lynda S. Morrison, Terry Rugeley, Stephanie J. Smith
“Delpar provides a history of Colombia’s liberal party covering a period in which it was first the dominant party (1863-1885) and then the party of opposition (1886-1899). Delpar’s study is well written and firmly grounded in extensive research [and] will occupy a prominent position in the sparse historiography of the late 19th century Colombia.” – Hispanic American Historical Review (HAHR)
“Delpar has given us a book that is disarmingly unpretentious yet offers considerably more than the title implies. As a discussion of the Liberal Party during the latter part of the 19th century, it is more narrative and descriptive than theoretical and analytical, indeed quite free of both redundant conceptualization and overly self-conscious methodology.
“It pays due attention to historical origins, regional distribution of support the characteristics of Liberal leadership, Liberal doctrine such as it was, the rules of the political game under the constitution of 1863, and the Liberal’s adjustment to opposition status after their fall from power in the 1880s. The author’s tone is clear and she has used an impressive quantity of published sources plus the personal papers of a good number of prominent Liberals.
During the second half of the 19th century several forces in the United States, Latin America, and Europe converged to set the stage for the establishment of a more permanent relationship between the United States and Latin America. The key factors--security, economics, and modernization--created both commonalities and conflicts between and among regions. In this volume, scholars examine not only the domestic but also the geopolitical forces that encouraged and guided development of diplomatic relations in this rapidly changing period.
As the contributors note, by the end of the century, economic interests dominated the relationship that eventually developed. This period saw the building of a string of U.S. naval bases in Latin America and the Caribbean, the rapid industrialization of the United States and the development of a substantial export market, the entrance of many U.S. entrepreneurs into Latin American countries, and the first two inter-American conferences. By the century's end, the United States appeared as the dominant partner in the relationship, a perception that earned it the "imperialist" label.
This volume untangles this complex relationship by examining U.S. relations with Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Central America, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay from the perspective of both the United States and the individual Latin American countries.
A companion volume to United States-Latin American Relations, 1800-1850: The Formative Generations, edited by T. Ray Shurbutt, this book establishes a historical perspective crucial to understanding contemporary diplomatic relations.