Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 2

By Erlinda Gonzales-Berry; Chuck Tatum | Go to book overview

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Práxedis G. Guerrero: Revolutionary Writer or
Writer as Revolutionary*

Ward S. Albro

Peter Kropotkin, the aristocratic Russian anarchist whose ideas probably had the greatest influence on the Mexican anarchist movement led by Ricardo Flores Magón, believed strongly that it was "by means of the printed word that the cause of revolution could best be served" (Joll 150). Flores Magón certainly shared those sentiments. For more than two decades he directed his greatest efforts at either writing or obtaining a means of publishing and distributing his writings. While his refusal to re-enter revolutionary Mexico from his self-imposed exile in the United States was seen by some as, at worst, cowardice, or at the very least as dooming his cause to failure, Flores Magón remained true to his belief that his role as a revolutionary anarchist was to write, and he could best perform that function north of the border (Albro Always a Rebel; Cockcroft; Hernández Padilla).

An avid reader of Kropotkin as well as a leader in the Flores Magón, or magonista movement, Práxedis G. Guerrero seemed in agreement with both mentors when he wrote, in an article entitled "Working," a description of the task of the revolutionary:

And so, gloomy and pensive, the revolutionary meditates; he leans over any old
piece of paper and he writes strong phrases that hurt, that shake, that vibrate like
the bugles of storm; he wanders and he ignites with the flames of his words, the
extinguished consciences, he sows rebellion and discontent; he forges the
weapons of freedom with iron from the chains that he destroys; restlessly, he goes

*Acknowledgments: This study is drawn from research for a larger work entitled To Die on Your
Feet: The Life, Times, and Writings of Práxedis G. Guerrero
(Fort Worth: Texas Christian Uni-
versity Press, 1996). A grant from the Recovering the U. S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project at
the University of Houston enabled me to complete this study of Guerrero. In translating the writ-
ings of Guerrero I acknowledge the able assistance of Arturo Ramos of Cuernavaca, Morelos,
México, and María de Jesús Ayala Schueneman and Lydia Nevárez-Méndez of Kingsville,
Texas.

-199-

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