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1 40BOOK reviews the position of the clergy in Cuban society. Cuban patriots despised both Saenz and Santander, and Chapelle urged their replacement. Saenz was eager to leave the island, but Santander clung to his office.Accordingly, Chapelle wrote a stinging condemnation of Santander's administration, a copy of which has been translated from French and placed in the appendix. Despite the Church's proSpanish stance, Cuban nationalists and United States officials showed little vindictiveness . Cuban nationalists, however, worked assiduously to fill church positions with insular patriots, and under the new Republic they eventually got their way. John L. Offner Shippensburg State College, Pennsylvania The Mexican Right. The End ofRevolutionary Reform, 1929-1940. ByJohnW Sherman. (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. 1997. Pp. xxii, 154. $55.00.) Anyone who has watched pilgrims walking on their knees to get to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City on the evening of December 1 1 knows that Mexico is a deeply religious country. However, until a few years ago, the Catholic Church and the Mexican government had an extremely uneasy relationship , at least in terms of public pronouncements. There was often a similar bifurcation between the attitudes of the hierarchy of the Mexican Church and those ofits lower clergy. For example, two of the most important leaders of the Mexican independence movement—Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos —were priests whose bishop firmly supported the Spanish Crown. This split continued after the Revolution of 1910 and manifested itselfagain from 1926 to 1929 when the faithful, furious with a governmental anticlericalism that would deny them the rites of the Church, went into battle in the name of "Cristo el Rey!," catching the upper clergy and the Vatican completely off guard. In his book, The Mexican Right, Professor Sherman has compiled a wellorganized selective narration of the events of the period from 1929 to 1940, that tries to prove that a powerful conservative (some might say traditionalist) movement developed in response to President Calles' anticlerical programs and to President Lázaro Cárdenas' determination to expropriate more land and to mandate socialist education. Further, he attempts to argue that the next presidential candidate, Manuel Avila Camacho, reacted to the strength and determination of that movement by abandoning Cárdenas' progressive agenda and moving decisively to the center. There are two significant problems with this book. First, the author does not grapple with the role of the Catholic Church either as a political or a spiritual institution when he shows how the movement evolved. For example, he refers to Pope Pius XFs encyclical "On Atheistic Communism," published in March, 1937, at greater length than a special encyclical/'Religious Situation in Mexico," issued that same month in which the Pontiff stated that Mexican Catholics should "continue to exercise their political and civil rights and obligations in BOOK REVIEWS141 defense of personal and Church rights," but not in a specifically Catholic political party. Regrettably, the full text of neither encyclical appears in an appendix. The author interprets the papal statement against specifically Catholic parties to mean that the Church had removed itself from politics when nothing could be further from the truth. The book cries out for the kind ofmicro-historical analysis pioneered in Mexico by Luis González y González where a scholar writes the history of a small town or area. Only through that kind of technique could a scholar attempt to understand the "mentality" of devout Catholics when faced with the possible destruction of the only institution that gave meaning to their lives. Instead, the author makes no attempt to analyze why the faithful marched and wrote and joined conservative groups and ran for office. There is no discussion of the relationship between local priests and their flocks, nor is much written about women's contributions to the cause. The second problem appears near the end of the work when Professor Sherman attempts to give the conservatives more power over Mexican politics than they deserve by coming to conclusions about the events from 1939 to 1941 from a single perspective. During those years, President Franklin Roosevelt and many others believed it essential to ensure Mexican loyalty should the United States enter the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 140-141
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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