Latin America's Cold War was notoriously hot. Stephen G. Rabe entitled his survey of the period The Killing Zone. Historians and political scientists have often portrayed Mexico as the exception to the rule of polarization, upheaval, and violence so visible elsewhere. In a timely and thoroughly researched book, Renata Keller challenges this idea by tracing the Cuban revolution's many effects on Mexico's domestic politics and international relations in the 1960s and 1970s.

Chapters proceed chronologically and describe a neat narrative arc. A first chapter sets the scene and describes how Mexico's social revolution of 1910–1920 gradually morphed into a new regime. Integrating a host of new secondary research, Keller argues that, by the 1950s, the Party of the...

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