Conservatives branded him a communist traitor, a dangerous radical importing exotic idealogies that ultimately would destroy the concepts of private property, the family, and religion. However, to the Indians, working class, and the poor, he was a virtual deity, tata, the embodiment of the people. To that horde of thousands, the six years that L?zaro C?rdenas served as president of Mexico were as if Jesus, Himself, walked on Earth.
During his term as President of Mexico (1934-1940), L?zaro C?rdenas fought to correct the deeply rooted popular grievances that eventually sparked the Mexican Revolution. Yet many Latin Americanists believe that the popularity of this controversial figure has clouded the understanding of Mexico's history. This sweeping and detailed study debunks many of the established interpretations of Cardenismo and sheds new light on the historical process which created Mexico's post-revolutionary political culture. As If Jesus Walked on Earth analyzes what Cardensimo actually meant for ordinary Mexicans-culturally, politically, and economically-as they struggled through those difficult years of radical reform.By focusing specifically on C?rdenas's impact on the northern border state of Sonora, Professor Adrian Bantjes explores the multivocality of Cardenismo in an effort to understand both the utopianism and the praxis of postrevolutionary Mexican society. Through this study of a key phase in the process of centralization by an increasingly powerful Mexican state, readers gain an enhanced understanding of L?zaro C?rdenas and the wider debate on the nature of the Mexican Revolution.