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Reading: Rashomon in the Zocalo: Writing the History of Popular Political Culture in 19th Century Mexico

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Rashomon in the Zocalo: Writing the History of Popular Political Culture in 19th Century Mexico

Author:

Richard Warren

Saint Joseph University
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Abstract

Those of us who study the political culture of nineenth century Mexico often lament the absence of archival documentation and the elusiveness of that which we know must exist somewhere, but just cannot find ... yet. Further frustration arises in the study of the popular classes, who were much less likely than elites to engage in the kinds of activities that leave traces in the archives. Indeed, the urban poor were even less likely than their rural counterparts to engage in the kinds of activities that leave traces of their presence in the archives (lawsuits over communal lands, for example). The words of Jules Michelet, the mid-nineteenth century French romantic historian, form an appropriate epigraph for these frustrations. Michelet, perhaps most well known for his 1846 work, titled simply The People, despaired, “I had the people in my heart. . . but I found their language inaccessible. I was unable to make it speak”.

How to Cite: Warren, R., (2007). Rashomon in the Zocalo: Writing the History of Popular Political Culture in 19th Century Mexico. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 16(1), pp.73–95. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/37
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Published on 01 Jan 2007.
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