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Lawless Robbery Under the Volcano

by Adam David Morton on October 21, 2016

Alan Knight, Lawless Robbery Under the Volcano: British Cultural Commentators on Revolutionary Mexico, 1920-1940

Sydney Ideas and the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney (in association with the Institute of Latin American Studies at La Trobe University) are co-organising this event to host Alan Knight, who is Professor Emeritus of the History of Latin America at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Antony’s College. He works on 20th century Latin America, chiefly Mexico, with a focus on revolutions, state-building, and foreign relations/imperialism. He is the author of The Mexican Revolution; Repensar la Revolución Mexicana; La Revolución Cósmica; two volumes of a general history of Mexico as Mexico: From the Beginning to the Spanish Conquest and Mexico: The Colonial Era; Revolución, Democracia y Populismo en América Latina; and The Mexican Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.


The Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) gave birth to a radical regime which, during the 1920s and 1930s, innovated in terms of state-building, social reform, and cultural policy, thus becoming a magnet for foreign journalists and intellectual tourists.

But while American cultural commentators (John Reed, Frank Tannenbaum, Carleton Beals and others) were often sympathetic, the British – D. H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh, and Malcolm Lowry – were highly critical.

This talk focuses on the British, asking why they were so negative, what they objected to, and what they tell us about the Mexican revolutionary project – or about themselves, and the interwar British society to which they belonged.

When: Tuesday 29, November

Time: 6:00-7:30pm

Where: Law School LT 104, Level 1, New Law School, Eastern Avenue University of Sydney


Please note that there is also an additional opportunity to participate in a research seminar hosting Alan Knight, details below, which is co-hosted with the Sydney University Research Community for Latin America (SURCLA).


Entrance: Free


Adam David Morton
Adam David Morton is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

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