The concentration of power in the caudillo (leader) is as much a formative element of Mexican culture and politics as the historical legacy of the Aztec emperors, Cortez, the Spanish Crown, the Mother Church and the mixing of the Spanish and Indian population into a mestizo culture. Krauze shows how history becomes biography during the century of caudillos from the insurgent priests in 1810 to Porfirio and the Revolution in 1910. The Revolutionary era, ending in 1940, was dominated by the lives of seven presidents -- Madero, Zapata, Villa, Carranza, Obregon, Calles and Cardenas. Since 1940, the dominant power of the presidency has continued through years of boom and bust and crisis. A major question for the modern state, with today's president Zedillo, is whether that power can be decentralized, to end the cycles of history as biographies of power.
· Mexico: Biography of Power. A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996, translated by Hank Heifetz, New York, Harper Collins, 1997, 872 pp.
· Publishers Weekly, No. 187, May 3rd, 1997.
· T. R. Fehrenbach, The Wilson Quarterly, spring 1997, pp. 107-108.
· David Gaddis Smith, The San Diego Union Tribune, June 1st, 1997.
· Gary Smith, Business Week, June 16, 1997.
· Barbara Belejack, The Boston Globe, June 22, 1997.
· Paul Berman, Slate, June 24, 1997.
· Andrés Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, June 29, 1997.
· The Economist, July 5, 1997.
· Saul Landau, Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1997.
· Kenneth Maxwell, Time, July, 1997.
· Sarah Kerr, Book Review (The New York Tiimes), July 27, 1997.
· John Bailay, The Wasington Post, August 3rd, 1997.
· Jorge G. Castañeda, Newsweek, August 11, 1997.
· Robert L. Bartley, The Wall Street Journal, August 13 1997
· Stephen Schwartz, Commentary, No. 3, September 1997.
· Hugh Thomas, The New Republic, No. 36, September 1997.
· Stephen Fidler, Financial Times, September 11, 1997.
· David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News, September 21, 1997.
· Gavin O'Toole, World Link, September-October 1997.
· Claudio Lomnitz, American Journal of Sociology, No. 4, Vol. 103, January 1998, pp. 1052-1065.
· Thomas Catán, US/Mexico Business, January-February 1998.
Reseñas en español:
· Barbara Probst Solomon, Vuelta, núm. 250, sept. de 1997.
· Sergio González Rodríguez, El Ángel (Reforma), 5 de octubre de 1997.