Claudio Lomnitz

Claudio Lomnitz is Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books); Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism; and Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in the Mexican Space.

  • The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón

    The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón

    Claudio Lomnitz

    A tale, never before told, of anarchy, cooperation, and betrayal at the margins of the Mexican revolution.

    In this long-awaited book, Claudio Lomnitz tells a groundbreaking story about the experiences and ideology of American and Mexican revolutionary collaborators of the Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón. Drawing on extensive research in Mexico and the United States, Lomnitz explores the rich, complicated, and virtually unknown lives of Flores Magón and his comrades devoted to the “Mexican Cause.” This anthropological history of anarchy, cooperation, and betrayal seeks to capture the experience of 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—“The Revolution is the Revolution.” For Lomnitz, the experiences of Flores Magón and his comrades 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, Lázaro Gutiérrez de Lara, and others, to illuminate the reciprocal relationship between personal and collective ideology and action. It is an epic and tragic tale, never before told, about camaraderie and disillusionment in the first transnational grassroots political movement to span the U.S.-Mexican border. The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón will change not only how we think about the Mexican Revolution but also how we understand revolutionary action and passion.

    • Hardcover $34.95 £28.00
  • Death and the Idea of Mexico

    Death and the Idea of Mexico

    Claudio Lomnitz

    The history of Mexico's fearless intimacy with death—the elevation of death to the center of national identity.

    Death and the Idea of Mexico is the first social, cultural, and political history of death in a nation that has made death its tutelary sign. Examining the history of death and of the death sign from sixteenth-century holocaust to contemporary Mexican-American identity politics, anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz's innovative study marks a turning point in understanding Mexico's rich and unique use of death imagery. Unlike contemporary Europeans and Americans, whose denial of death permeates their cultures, the Mexican people display and cultivate a jovial familiarity with death. This intimacy with death has become the cornerstone of Mexico's national identity. Death and Idea of Mexico focuses on the dialectical relationship between dying, killing, and the administration of death, and the very formation of the colonial state, of a rich and variegated popular culture, and of the Mexican nation itself. The elevation of Mexican intimacy with death to the center of national identity is but a moment within that history—within a history in which the key institutions of society are built around the claims of the fallen. Based on a stunning range of sources—from missionary testimonies to newspaper cartoons, from masterpieces of artistic vanguards to accounts of public executions and political assassinations—Death and the Idea of Mexico moves beyond the limited methodology of traditional historiographies of death to probe the depths of a people and a country whose fearless acquaintance with death shapes the very terms of its social compact.

    • Hardcover $38.95 £32.00
    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00