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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. He is author of Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy (2007); Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development (2011), recipient of the 2012 Book Prize of the British International Studies Association (BISA) International Political Economy Group (IPEG); and co-author of Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis (2018) with Andreas Bieler. He co-edits Progress in Political Economy (PPE) with Gareth Bryant that was the recipient of the 2017 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for the Best Blog (Group) and the 2018 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for Special Achievement in International Studies Online Media.

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