The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón


Apr 29, 2014
6 x 9 in.
112 b/w illus.
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In this long-awaited study, Claudio Lomnitz tells an unprecedented story about the experience and ideology of American and Mexican revolutionary collaborators of the Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón. Based on extensive research in American and Mexican archives, Lomnitz explores the rich, complicated, and virtually unknown lives of Magón and his comrades devoted to the “Mexican Cause.”

This anthropological history of anarchy, cooperation, and betrayal seeks to capture the experience and meaning of these dedicated militants who themselves struggled to understand their role and place at the margins of the Mexican Revolution. For them, the revolution was untranslatable, a pure but deaf subversion: “La revolución es la revolución.” For Lomnitz, their experiences reveal the meaning of this phrase.

The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón tracks the lives of John Kenneth Turner, Ethel Duffy, Elizabeth Trowbridge, Ricardo Flores Magón, and Lázaro Gutiérrez de Lara, among others, to illuminate the reciprocal relationship between personal and collective ideology and action. This book is an epic and tragic tale, never before told, about camaraderie and disillusionment in the first transnational grassroots political movement to span the US–Mexico border. This book will revise how we think about not only the Mexican Revolution but also revolutionary action and passion.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the LASA Mexico Humanities Book Award, Latin American Studies Association