Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City

Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City

Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City

Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City

Synopsis

Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens examines the mobilization of workers and the urban poor in Mexico City from the eve of the 1910 revolution through the early 1920s, producing for the first time a nuanced illumination of groups that have long been discounted by historians. John Lear addresses a basic paradox: During one of the great social upheavals of the twentieth century, urban workers and masses had a limited military role, yet they emerged from the revolution with considerable combativeness and a new significance in the power structure. Lear identifies a significant and largely underestimated tradition of resistance and independent organization among working people that resulted in part from the changes in the structure of class and community in Mexico City during the last decades of Porfirio Diaz's rule (1876-1910). This tradition of resistance helped to join skilled workers and the urban poor as they embraced organizational opportunities and faced crises in wages and access to food and housing as the revolution escalated. Emblematic of these ties was the role of women in political agitation, street mobilizations, strikes, and riots. Lear suggests that the prominence of labor after the revolution was neither a product of opportunism nor one of revolutionary consciousness, but rather the result of the ongoing organizational efforts and cultural transformations of working people that coincided with the revolution.
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