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May 2016 Vol. 53 No. 9

University of Nebraska Press

The following review appeared in the May 2016 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences
History, Geography & Area Studies - Latin America & the Caribbean

2015-31797 CIP
Fowler, Will. Independent Mexico: the pronunciamiento in the age of Santa Anna, 1821–1858. Nebraska, 2016. 358p bibl index afp ISBN 9780803225398 pbk, $40.00; ISBN 9780803284678 ebook, contact publisher for price.

This is University of St. Andrews professor Fowler's fourth and last monograph in the Mexican Experience series, which tells about more than three decades of pronunciamiento politics from independence in 1821 to the Civil War of the Reforma (1858–60) and the French Intervention (1862–67).  The grit of the book is the array of political actors, groups, and communities that aggressively petitioned government at the local and national levels as a means to address grievances.  Fowler chooses to look at it from the perspective of the Spanish experience rather than as an extension of the colonial experience, where colonized Indians regularly petitioned the government, often resulting in revolt.  After independence, this practice picked up steam, with the political aim often a coup d’état.  The pronunciamiento grew more sophisticated in time, and by the mid-1850s the Age of Reform solidified political alignments.  Lost in the compact narrative are ideological rifts such as that personified by Lucas Alamán and the heirs of Bourbon Reforms, who wanted to secularize Mexico.  An important work that can be built on to answer other questions.

--R. Acuña, California State University, Northridge

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.