Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico

Article excerpt

Wolfe, M. D. Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018, 336 pp., 29 B&W illustrations. ISBN 9780822363743 paperback, US $26.95; ISBN 9780822363590 hardcover, US $94.95; ISBN 9780822373063 ebook, US $26.95.

Water availability has been proclaimed a matter of national security in Mexico, and the past century has seen a significant decline in the availability of water. Mikael D. Wolfe's fascinating and in-depth history of agrarian reform efforts, Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico, demonstrates how 20th century land-redistribution and dam-building in Mexico, efforts that may have been well-intentioned, have led to greater inequality and impoverishment of the people, and to environmental degradation.

Wolfe uses the lens of "envirotech" history to examine the Laguna district as a microcosm of 20th century Mexican agrarian reform. Distinct from environmental history, which considers human events in relationship to the landscape and natural forces around them, or the history of technology, envirotech history considers the interrelationships between non-human nature, technological development, and humans' relationships with both. …

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