Subcommander Marcos - The Man and the Mask

Nick Henck

Published by Duke Univ
ISBN 10: 0822339781 / ISBN 13: 9780822339786
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Synopsis: Subcommander Marcos made his debut on the world stage on January 1, 1994, the day the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect. At dawn, from a town-hall balcony he announced that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation had seized several towns in the Mexican state of Chiapas in rebellion against the government; by sunset Marcos was on his way to becoming the most famous guerrilla leader since Che Guevara. Subsequently, through a succession of interviews, communiqués, and public spectacles, the Subcommander emerged as a charismatic spokesperson for the indigenous Zapatista uprising and a rallying figure in the international anti-globalization movement.

In this, the first English-language biography of Subcommander Marcos, Nick Henck describes the thought, leadership, and personality of this charismatic rebel spokesperson. He traces Marcos’s development from his provincial middle-class upbringing, through his academic career and immersion in the clandestine world of armed guerrillas, to his emergence as the iconic Subcommander. Henck reflects on what motivated an urbane university professor to reject a life of comfort in Mexico City in favor of one of hardship as a guerrilla in the mountainous jungles of Chiapas, and he examines how Marcos became a conduit through which impoverished indigenous Mexicans could communicate with the world.

Henck fully explores both the rebel leader’s renowned media savvy and his equally important flexibility of mind. He shows how Marcos’s speeches and extensive writings demonstrate not only the Subcommander’s erudition but also his rejection of Marxist dogmatism. Finally, Henck contextualizes Marcos, locating him firmly within the Latin American guerrilla tradition.

From the Publisher: "Nick Henck's meticulous research and careful rendering of the myths and facts behind Subcommander Marcos's life and rise to prominence as a guerrilla leader and media darling is a major accomplishment in biography. This intriguing and insightful portrait of the man and his times will interest anyone seeking a greater understanding of recent Mexican politics."--Roderic Ai Camp, author of Politics in Mexico: The Democratic Consolidation

"In this encyclopedic biography, Nick Henck draws on almost everything ever published on Subcommander Marcos. The result is an analysis that first highlights Marcos's intellectual and political formation prior to his entering the Lacandon jungle in late 1983, and then illuminates the Subcommander's unique cultural and political flexibility, which ultimately served to let the EZLN be directed by the priorities of the indigenous communities of Chiapas. As Henck points out, this flexibility is what distinguished Marcos from other twentieth-century guerilla leaders; it was pivotal in permitting the EZLN to play a central role in the democratization of Mexico after seventy years of one-party rule. This is a valuable reference book for all those interested in a detailed account of the rise of Subcommander Marcos and the EZLN in Chiapas."--Lynn Stephen, author of Transborder Lives: Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California, and Oregon

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Title: Subcommander Marcos - The Man and the Mask
Publisher: Duke Univ
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