Review by Choice Review
In this large and rambling book, activist anthropologist Stephen (Univ. of Oregon) examines how a symbol broadcast by the Mexican government resonated differently across rural Mexico. For some Mexicans, revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and his struggle for agrarian justice came to symbolize the beneficent alliance of peasant and government. For others, that same Zapata highlighted an unfinished struggle for land and equity. When armed rebellion erupted in 1994, rebels marched under the banner of the Emiliano Zapata Army of National Liberation. Rural Mexico is not homogeneous, and the author's efforts to demonstrate that simple fact are ungainly. But Stephen had other purposes; she wished to serve as a committed witness to Mexican efforts to create a more equitable and just nation. Therein lies the book's strengths--its exploration of the changing rights and roles of women in rebel territory in Chiapas, its expose of the increasing militarization of the Mexican countryside, and the author's own observations and interviews conducted in rebel territory while she labored as a sympathetic international observer in Mexico. Readers may find her discussions of a number of pressing contemporary political issues in Mexico of interest. All levels and collections. P. R. Sullivan independent scholar
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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