By Anne T. Doremus

From 1929 to 1952 Mexico underwent a interval of excessive nationalism because the kingdom, newly rising from the Mexican Revolution, sought to legitimize itself, consolidate its associations, and advertise financial progress. as a result, those years additionally witnessed a fervent look for nationwide self-awareness within the cultural sphere. This paintings contrasts structures of nationwide id in probably the most well known literary works of the interval with these in one of the most renowned movies, revealing their distinctive capabilities in the nationalist venture. It demonstrates that during spite in their outstanding dissimilarities, articulations of a Mexican attention in those mediums have been complementary in the framework of nationalism, as they chuffed and formed the pursuits and wishes of special sectors of Mexican society.

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To underscore this point, it is important to take into account the author's intellectual formation and involvement in the Revolution and the postrevolutionary state. Since his youth, Guzman had concerned himself deeply with the nation's cultural and political affairs. Just before the beginning of the war in 1909 he began to participate in the Ateneo de la Juventud, a group of young intellectuals (founded in 1909) that also included Antonio Caso, Jose Vasconcelos, Pedro Henriquez Urefia, and Alfonso Reyes, and played a prominent role in the nation's political and cultural life both during and after the Revolution.

Here he argues that Mexican politics remain in a constant state of upheaval because the educated classes allow uneducated men to wield power: 35 There prevails among the most educated classes the theory that politics, at least Mexican politics. deserves only adventurous or inferior spirits and those who seek quick power or wealth. And such an attitude favors the continuation of the regime of violence. Because if these classes, from whom talented politicians could emerge ... , politicians capable of utilizing language and writing, abstain from all public activity, there is no alternative to stop the reign of those who understand only violence, nor is there moral justification for those who lament that this occurs.

This instability led to a form of enlightened despotism, where the state imposed its will on the populace in the name of getting things done. Some of the more negative consequences were violence (the state tolerated no opposition) and political corruption, both of which Guzman condemns in his novel. La sombra del caudillo is a fictionalized and allegorical account of two actual events: the rebellions of Adolfo de Ia Huerta in 1923, and Francisco R. Serrano and Arnulfo R. Gomez in 1927. De Ia Huerta rebelled when Alvaro Obregon appointed Calles rather than himself as his successor.

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