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Mexico's Cold War
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Book description

This book is a history of the Cold War in Mexico, and Mexico in the Cold War. Renata Keller draws on declassified Mexican and US intelligence sources and Cuban diplomatic records to challenge earlier interpretations that depicted Mexico as a peaceful haven and a weak neighbor forced to submit to US pressure. Mexico did in fact suffer from the political and social turbulence that characterized the Cold War era in general, and by maintaining relations with Cuba it played a unique, and heretofore overlooked, role in the hemispheric Cold War. The Cuban Revolution was an especially destabilizing force in Mexico because Fidel Castro's dedication to many of the same nationalist and populist causes that the Mexican revolutionaries had originally pursued in the early twentieth century called attention to the fact that the government had abandoned those promises. A dynamic combination of domestic and international pressures thus initiated Mexico's Cold War and shaped its distinct evolution and outcomes.


'This important book is a landmark study on Mexico and Cuba and the Cold War. Using an innovative selection of official and grassroots sources as well as previously unavailable Cuban government materials, Keller weaves a fascinating and complex account of how debates over the legacy of the Mexican Revolution shaped Mexico’s engagement with the Cuban Revolution and the United States as well as reconfigured Mexican domestic politics. Students of Mexican, Cuban, and inter-American politics and history will find it invaluable.'

Barry Carr - LaTrobe University, Australia

'At once a history of the Cold War in Mexico and Cuba within the wider global conflict, Renata Keller’s engrossing study sets high standards for integrating Latin American history and international relations scholarship. In the process it fleshes out Mexico’s distinctive Cold War history at multiple levels of analysis, decoding the nation’s complicated, seemingly contradictory relationship with both Fidel Castro’s Cuba and the hemisphere’s powerful hegemon to the north. Mexico’s Cold War also provides an important optic for understanding the powerful legacy of Mexico’s twentieth-century revolution.'

Gilbert M. Joseph - Yale University, Connecticut

'This book makes significant contributions to diplomatic history, Cold War studies, and Mexican history. It delivers an engaging narrative that digs deeply into intelligence and diplomatic archives to craft a fascinating story of how the 1959 Cuban Revolution and international aspects of the Cold War shaped domestic politics in 1960s Mexico … This book is certainly a must-read in diplomatic history, Cold War Studies, and the history of twentieth-century Mexico. It is engaging, insightful, and opens new research inquiries in a number of areas.'

Julio E. Moreno Source: Diplomatic History

'Keller’s most significant achievement is her careful research into several newly declassified records, particularly those of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad. Her study sheds new light on the particulars of how government authorities in Mexico construed and depicted local and national struggles as part of an international 'communist' campaign to disrupt stability … Keller’s study provides innumerable insights and should be required reading for specialists of modern Mexico and the Cold War. Its concise and accessible style makes it ideal for use in undergraduate courses.'

Steven J. Bachelor Source: The American Historical Review

'In this deeply researched monograph, Renata Keller has provided the most detailed view yet of how the Cuban Revolution affected Mexico’s internal and external affairs during the 1960s and beyond.'

Aaron W. Navarro Source: Hispanic American Historical Review

'Keller gives a clear and concise detailing of a tremendously complicated and multifaceted topic that complicates the internal history of the Cold War in Mexico.'

Courtney Kennedy Source: H-LatAm

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