Tornel and Santa Anna: The Writer and the Caudillo, Mexico, 1795-1853


This is a study of one of the leading politicians of Independent Mexico, Jose Maria Tornel y Mendivil, whose loyalty to Santa Anna and whose skills as a writer led him to play a crucial role in enabling the caudillo's repeated rise to power during this period. This first biography of Tornel in English provides a new insight into the political thought of the santanistas and the ways in which Santa Anna was able to return to power time and again in spite of the fact that he was deemed responsible for such major national disasters as the Texas campaign of 1836 and the 1847 defeat against the United States. A close analysis of Tornel's own political evolution, from advocating a radical federalist agenda in the 1820s to defending reactionary dictatorship in the 1850s, illustrates the extent to which the santanistas' policies changed as the hopeful, early 1820s degenerated into the despair of the late 1840s.

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