Revolution and Ideology
Images of the Mexican Revolution in the United States
John A. Britton
Mexico and the United States share a border of more than 2,000 miles, and their histories and interests have often intertwined. The Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910 and continued in one form or another for the next thirty years, was keenly observed by U.S. citizens, especially those directly involved in Mexico through property ownership, investment, missionary work, tourism, journalism, and education. It differed from many other revolutions in this century in that Marxist–Leninist theory was only one of many radical and reformist influences.
Historian John A. Britton examines contemporary accounts written by Americans commenting on social upheaval south of the border: radical writers John Reed, Anita Brenner, and Carlton Beals; novelists Katherine Anne Porter and D.H. Lawrence; social critics Stuart Chase and Waldo Frank; and banker-diplomat Dwight Morrow, to mention a few.
Their writings constitute a valuable body of information and opinion concerning a revolution that offers important parallels with liberation movements throughout the world today. Britton's sources also shed light on the many contradictions and complexities inherent in the relationship between the United States and Mexico.