1st Edition

The Essential History of Mexico
From Pre-Conquest to Present

ISBN 9780415842785
Published August 27, 2015 by Routledge
460 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

USD $73.95

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Book Description

The full text of The History of Mexico: From Pre-Conquest to Present traces the last 500 years of Mexican history, from the indigenous empires devastated by the Spanish conquest through the 21st-century, including the election of 2012. Written in a clear and accessible manner, the book offers a straightforward chronological survey of Mexican history from pre-colonial times to the present, and includes a glossary as well as numerous images and tables for comprehensive study.

This version, The Essential History of Mexico, streamlines and updates the text of the full first edition to make it easier for classroom use. Helpful pedagogy has been added for contextualization and support, including:

  • Side-by-side world and Mexican timelines at the beginning of each chapter that place the national events from each chapter in broader global context
  • Bolded keywords that draw attention to important terms
  • Cultural and biography boxes in each chapter that help highlight aspects of social history
  • Primary documents in each chapter that allow historical actors to speak directly to students
  • Annotated suggestions for further reading

In addition, the companion website provides many valuable tools for students and instructors, including links to online resources and videos, discussion questions, and images and figures from the book.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


Section I: The First Three Millennia

Chapter 1: Mesoamerica

Chapter 2: The Conquest of Mexico, 1519–1521

Chapter 3: Three Centuries of Colonial Rule, 1521–1810

Chapter 4: Colonial Society

Chapter 5: From Corn to Capitalism, 1521–1810

Section II: The Nineteenth Century, 1810-1909

Chapter 6: The End of Spanish Rule, 1810–1821

Chapter 7: Nationhood, 1821–1855

Chapter 8: Shifting Boundaries

Chapter 9: Juárez and Díaz, 1855–1909

Section III: The Early Twentieth Century, 1910-1940

Chapter 10: The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1916

Chapter 11: Institutionalizing the New Regime, 1917–1940

Section IV: The Late Twentieth Century, 1941-2000

Chapter 12: After Cárdenas, 1940-1970

Chapter 13: Politics in Times of Crisis, 1971–2000

Chapter 14: Plunging Back into the International Market, 1971–2000

Section V: The Twenty-First Century

Chapter 15: Twenty-First Century Mexico


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Phillip Russell is an independent historian from Austin, Texas, and the author of Mexico under Salinas.


"This book fills an important need for Mexican history courses. It deftly balances content and scope to provide a thorough yet accessible treatment of Mexico’s history. Its attention to international context, social and economic developments, and its inclusion of primary documents make it eminently suited for the college classroom."
—Kevin M. Gannon, Grand View University

"The Essential History of Mexico is a highly accessible yet comprehensive introduction to Mexico, from the earliest indigenous societies to the present day, through the Conquest, Independence, the Mexican Revolution, and beyond. It is a powerful resource for understanding Mexico's international relations, including Mexican immigration to the U.S., and for anyone engaged in global settings where the knowledge of Mexico is indispensible."
—Miles Rodríguez, Bard College

"This comprehensive and thorough synthesis of Mexican history is tailor-made for a survey of Mexico course. From its clear prose to the fascinating primary sources it includes, this text will keep students both engaged and interested."
—Alex Aviña, Florida State University

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.