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238 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Finally, Derry shows how the intervention of drovers, commission agents, railways, and packing houses in the marketing chain blurred demand factors. Producers increasingly became out of touch with consumer preferences. Derry=s argument about breeding for the American market is unclear, and needs more elaboration. She seems to imply that a lighter animal bred for Canadian consumers would have been as profitable as a heavier one bred for the American market. I doubt it. The price differential was too great. In order to take advantage of significantly higher American prices, producers exported their very best, and kept the inferior stock for the home market. Similarly, the uniformly low prices offered in Canadian markets regardless of quality led mixed farmers to use dairy strains to grow the biggest animals they could. More commentary on the diffusion of the three major breeds and some observations on their respective merits would have added to the discussion. Did the purebred breeders have any influence on the fixation among farmers for certain breed types? The above minor points notwithstanding, Derry has produced a valuable and informative work. Her primary sources and bibliography reflect the meticulous research that has resulted in a meaningful and thoughtprovoking analysis. This book should be read by anyone interested in Canadian agricultural history. (MAX FORAN) Karl B. Koth. Waking the Dictator: Veracruz, the Struggle for Federalism, and the Mexican Revolution, 1870B1927 University of Calgary Press. xiii, 362. $24.95 Recent books on the Mexican Revolution tend to fall into three rather broad categories: those that focus on the leaders of the events; those that take a regional approach, examining the impact of the revolution on a particular state and its inhabitants; and those that tie the various monographs and articles into synthetic overviews. Karl Koth=s book falls into the second school, exploring the developments in the state of Veracruz from the late nineteenth century through to 1927, a period when centralizing forces increasingly sought to reduce states= rights. This confrontation, according to Koth, explains the state=s involvement in the revolutionary struggle, a struggle that also included a social component as urban and rural workers sought to improve their respective situations. However, they, like the proponents of state autonomy, were ultimately unsuccessful, factors that help to explain Mexico=s slowness in establishing a democratic system of government. Because of its geographical position, Veracruz was fated to play a pivotal role in Mexican developments. Stretching along the central Caribbean coast, this narrow finger of a state is the home to the country=s most important port, which bears the same name as the state and links Mexico City to the humanities 239 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 world. The state=s northern reaches contained substantial oil deposits, while at its centre lay the core of the nation=s textile mills. With its solid agricultural base, the state had the financial and economic wherewithal to support political endeavours. These became increasingly complex from the late nineteenth century during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, whose centralizing efforts at the behest of the white, conservative, social Darwinistic coterie around him, known as the >Científicos= (Scientists), helped foster the growing animosity that exploded in 1910. Koth follows the convoluted progress of the subsequent revolutionary struggle through the careers of its successive leaders from Madero to Calles, and the attempts of the veracruzano leaders to maintain their influence in the face of the evergrowing violence that threatened political turmoil as well as social transformation. Sympathetic to the federalist cause, he presents the defenders of states= rights almost as white knights, particularly those who opposed the extreme centralists of the científico mould. This is understandable in the case of Teodoro Dehesa, the socially progressive governor during the Porfirian years, but less so in the case of Félix Díaz, the brutal and self-centred nephew of the ex-dictator. The struggles of the underprivileged also attract the author=s attention, as those struggles often supported the federalist cause, but they remain secondary to the political relationships and developments of the era...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 238-239
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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