Skip to main content Accessibility help

American “Slackers” in the Mexican Revolution: International Proletarian Politics in the Midst of a National Revolution

  • Dan La Botz (a1)


In the spring of 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I and adopted universal, male, military conscription, American war resisters and draft dodgers known at the time as “the slackers” began to arrive in Mexico. Senator Albert Bacon Fall claimed there were 30,000 slackers hiding out in Mexico, and slacker Linn A.E. Gale agreed with him. When American adventurer, reporter and writer Harry L. Foster passed through Mexico City in 1919, he noted that there were hundreds of Americans, many of them slackers, loitering in the city’s parks and plazas.



Hide All

1 I have tried in this paper to present one of the central themes of my dissertation: ‘“ Slackers, ’: American War Resisters and Communists in Mexico, 1917–1927” (Ph.D. dissertation, History Department, University of Cincinnati, 1998), that is, the struggle between the slackers’ internationalism and the emerging Mexican state and its nationalist ideology.

2 Linn A.E. Gale, “They Were ‘Willing’,” Gale’s Magazine, March 1920, citing Fall; Linn A.E. Gale, “The Reason for the Intervention in Mexico and the Result,” Gale’s Magazine, January 1920.

3 Foster, Harry L., A Gringo in Mañana-Land (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1925), pp. 12021 .

4 Roy, M.N., Memoirs (Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1984), p. 109 .

5 “Ask Mexico to Send Draft Dodgers Back,” New York Times, June 7, 1920.

6 Chambers II, John Whiteclay, To Raise an Army: the Draft Comes to Modern America (New York: The Free Press, 1987), pp. 211217 .

7 Gale, Linn A.E., “‘We Slackers’ in Mexico,” Gale’s Magazine, June 1919, pp. 89 .

8 Shannon, David A., The Socialist Party of America: A History (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1955), p. 78 . Weinstein, James, The Decline of Socialism in America (New York: Monthly Review, 1967), pp. 93103 .

9 Weinstein, pp. 84-93.

10 Shannon, p. 95.

11 The literature on the anti-war movement of World War I documents the many cases of government prosecutions, employer firings, and citizen attacks on anarchist, pacifist, and socialists, as well as German, anti-war activists. Among the most important works are: Murray, Robert K., Red Scare: A Study of National Hysteria, 1919-1920 (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1955); Peterson, H.C. and Fite, Gilbert C., Opponents of War, 1917-1918 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1957); Preston, William Jr., Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903-1933 (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1963); Luebke, Frederick C., Bonds of Loyalty: German-Americans and World War I (DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 1974); Richard Polenberg, Fighting Faiths: The Abrams Case, the Supreme Court, and Free Speech, 1987); Early, Frances H., A World Without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I (Syracuse, N.Y., Syracuse University Press, 1997).

12 Mowat, C.W., ed., The New Modern Cambridge History, Vol. XXI (Second Edition), The Shifting Balance of World Forces, 1898-1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1968), p. 563 . On the terrible repression of the Wilson era see: Goldstein, Robert Justin, Political Repression in Modern America (Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman Publishing Company, 1978) and Blanchard, Margaret A., Revolutionary Sparks: Freedom of Expression in Modern America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

13 Christopulos’s, Diana K. study, “American Radicals and the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1925” (Ph.D. Diss., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1980 ) deals primarily with the Socialist Party of America and its relationship to the Mexican revolution. Similarly Gregg Andrews’s book Shoulder to Shoulder? The American Federation of Labor, the United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) examines the role of the most important U.S. labor federation in its relations with the U.S. and Mexican governments and with labor and political organizations in Mexico. Other older works in a similar vein would be Sinclair Snow’s “Samuel Gompers and the Pan-American Federation of Labor” (Ph.D. Diss, University of Virginia, 1960) and Harvey A Levenstein’s Labor Organizations in the United States and Mexico: A History of their Relations (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Company, 1971). A parallel study is Caulfield’s, NormanThe Industrial Workers of the World and Mexican Labor, 1905-1925” (M.A. Thesis, University of Houston, 1987).

14 Take, for example, the general study by Hall, Linda B. and Coerver, Don M., Revolution on the Border: the United States and Mexico, 1910-1920 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, c1988 ), or Sandos, James A., Rebellion in the Borderlands: Anarchism and the Plan of San Diego, 1904-1923 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992) and Johnson, Benjamin Heber, Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (New Haven: Yale, 2005), which focus on a radical uprising in Texas. Similarly, Lawrence Douglas Taylor studies the taking of Tijuana by Magonistas, and Wobblies, in La campaña magonista de 1911 in Baja California (Tijuana: El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, 1992). See also, Blaisdell, Lowell L., The Desert Revolution, Baja California, 1911 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1962).

15 Taylor’s, Lawrence La gran aventura en México, (Mexico: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1993), 2 vols., is a two volume study of foreign volunteers in the Mexican revolution; see also Dirk Raat’s, W. Revoltosos: Mexico’s Rebels in the United States, 1903-1923 (College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M University Press, 1981). A book also in that vein is Colin McLachlan’s, M. Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution: The Political Trials of Ricardo Flores Magón in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).

16 Mexico: UNAM, 1990.

17 Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.

18 Botz, Daniel Herbert La, ‘“Slackers’: American War Resisters and Communists in Mexico, 1917–1927” (Ph.D. Diss. University of Cincinnati, 1998).

19 On the role of the U.S. in Mexico, see Hart, John Mason , Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). The best source on foreign immigrants to Mexico is Moises Navarro, González, Los Extranjeros en México y los Mexicanos en el extranjero: 1821-1970 (Mexico: Colegio de Mexico, 1994), 3 vols. Regarding U.S. Protestant missionaries in Mexico, see Bastian, Jean-Pierre, Los Disidentes: Sociedades Protestantes y revolución en Mexico. 1872-1911 (Mexico: Colegio de México and Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993).

20 Concerning U.S. workers in Mexico in the period of the Mexican Revolution and World War I, see Alzati, Servando A., Historia de la Mexicanización de los Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (Mexico: No publisher, 1946), pp.30507 ; Miller, Richard U., “American Railroad Unions and the National Railways of Mexico,” Labor History 15 (Spring 1974), pp. 239260 ; Sariego, Juan Luis, Enclaves minerales en el norte de Mexico: historia social de los mineros de Cananea y Nueva Rosita: 1900-1970 (Mexico: CIESAS, Casa Chata, 1988), p. 113 ; Juárez, Mima Alicia Benítez, “Los Sindicatos de la Huasteca Petroleum Company en Veracruz: 1924-1925,” in Muñoz, Manuel Reyna, ed., Actores sociales en un proceso de transformación: Veracruz en los años veinte (Mexico: Universidad Veracruzana, 1996); Brown, Oil and Revolution in Mexico, p. 319; Caulfield, Norman, “The Industrial Workers of the World and Mexican Labor, 1905-1925” (Master of Arts Thesis, Department of History, University of Houston, 1987); Caulfield, Norman, “Wobblies and Mexican Workers in Mining and Petroleum, 1905-1924,” International Review of Social History 40 (1995), pp. 5176 ; Peter De Shazo and Halstead, Robert J., “Los Wobblies del Sur. The Industrial Workers of the World in Chile and Mexico,” University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 1974 . Thanks to Robert J. Halstead of Portage, Wisconsin for sharing this unpublished paper with me.

21 Vasconcelos, José, Memorias (Mexico: Fondo de la Cultura Económica, 1993), Vol. I, Ulises Criollo, p. 323 .

22 The story of U.S.-Mexican labor solidarity in the 1900 to 1930 period has not been told completely in any one place, though the story can be pieced together from both contemporary documents and a variety of excellent monographs. Various aspects of the U.S. labor and left support for Mexico are treated in Philip Foner, S., U.S. Labor Movement and Latin America: A History of Workers ‘ Response to Intervention, Vol. I, 1846-1919 (South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc., 1988); Christopulos, Diana K., “American Radicals and the Mexican Revolution: 1900-1925” (Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1980); Andrews, Gregg, Shoulder to Shoulder: The American Federation of Labor, the United States, and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); Levenstein, Harvey A., Labor Organizations in the United States and Mexico: A History of their Relations (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1971); Snow, Sinclair, “Samuel Gompers and the American Federation of Labor” (Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1960); Raat, W.Dirk, Revoltosos. Mexico’s Rebels in the United States. 1903-1923 (College Station, Texas: A&M University Press, 1981). See also: Gompers, Samuel, Seventy Years ofLifejind Labor: An Autobiography (New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1925) Vol. II .

23 The best discussion of the Socialist Party and the Mexican Revolution remains that of Christopulos. For the Social Party’s opposition to the Diaz dictatorship and its support for the Mexican Revolutionaries see the following articles in International Socialist Review: “Conditions in Mexico” (May 1905), pp. 675-677, “Mexico” (February 1906), p. 498; Murray, John, “Mexico’s Peon-Slaves Preparing for Revolution” (March 1909), pp. 64159 ; Murray, John, “The Private Prison of Diaz” (April 1909), pp. 73752 ; Murray, Jolin, “The Mexican Political Prisoners” (May 1909), pp. 86365 ; Turner, John Kenneth, “The American Partners of Diaz” (December 1910), pp. 32128 ; Turner, John Kenneth, “The Revolution in Mexico” (January 1911), p. 421 . Debs, Eugene V., “The Crisis in Mexico” (July 1911), p. 23 . Also note the accompanying: “Editorial” (July 1911), p. 47. For the Socialist Party’s position against U.S. intervention, see: Marcy, Mary E., “Whose War Is This?” (June 1914), pp. 72931 . The Socialist Party supported Madero’s bourgeois revolution, but would not support attempts at a more radical democratic or social revolution.

24 Turner, John Kenneth, Barbarous Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969), with Introd. by Sinclair Snow.

25 John Reed, Insurgent Mexico, edited with an introd. and notes by Michaels, Albert L. [and] Wilkie, James W. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1969).

26 62 Congress, 1st Session, J.J. Res. 29. “Joint Resolution Relative to the Mexican Situation,” introduced in the House of Representatives, April 5, 1911. A copy of the resolution can be found in the Social ist Collection of the Tamiment Library, New York University Collections, Collection IX.

27 Taylor, Lawrence, La gran aventura en México: El Papel de los voluntarios extranjeros en los ejercitos revolucionarios mexicanos. 1910-1915 (Mexico: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1993), vol. I, pp. 106, 230-33, 11, 229. Taylor estimates that more than 1,000 foreigners fought in the Mexican Revolution, most of them Americans.

28 The best account of this is to be found in Lawrence Taylor, Douglas, La campana magonista de 1911 en Baja California (Tijuana, Baja California, 1992). See also Blaisdell, Lowell L., The Desert Revolution: Baja California. 1911 (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1962).

29 Emma Goldman and her anarchist comrades carried out a campaign on Mexico for several years, as reflected in her journal Mother Earth. It was William C. Owen and Voltairine de Cleyre who really developed the anarchist position on Mexico. See the following articles in Mother Earth: Owen, William C., “The Russianizing of America,” (February 1910), pp. 39496 ; “Observations and Comments” (August 1910), p. 182; William С Owen, “Viva Mexico” (April 1911), pp. 42-46; William С Owen, “Mexico’s Hour of Need” (June 1911), pp. 106-7; Voltairine de Cleyre, “The Mexican Revolt” (August 1911), pp. 167-68; Voltairine de Cleyre, “The Mexican Revolution” (December 1911), pp. 302-7 and pp. 337-41, 371; Voltairine de Cleyre, “The Commune Is Risen” (March 1912), p. 14. Similar articles appeared in such anarchist publications as Alexander Berkman’s Blast! and The Agitator. See for example the letters of March 13, 1911 from Emma Goldman and Ricardo Flores Magon to The Agitator in the Emma Goldman Archives, Berkeley, California. Paul Avrich, An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre ( Princeton, , New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978), pp. 225231 , deals with her involvement in Mexico. Related to anarchist involvement in Mexico are also the articles on the Rangel-Cline case; see the following articles in Mother Earth: “Appeal of the Rangel-Cline Defense Fund” (December 1913), pp. 304-307; “Observations and Comments” (February 1914), pp. 355-56; “Tyranny in Texas” (February 1914), pp. 377-379; “The Rangel-Cline Case” (June 1914), pp. 111-115; “The Rangel-Cline Case” (August 1914), pp. 201-202; “Mexican Notes” (October 1916).

30 The American war resisters and draft evaders who came to be known as the “slackers,” and who form the center of this paper, left several memoirs or autobiographies and other useful works. The first group of slackers, who were in Mexico from 1917 to 1921 (and in some cases longer), produced several autobiographies which help to reconstruct their milieu. Carleton Beals left two memoirs which touch on his Mexican experiences: Brimstone, and Chili, : A Book of Personal Experiences in the Southwest and in Mexico (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1927) and Houses, Glass: Ten Years of Free-Lancing (New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1938). Glass Houses sketches the slacker milieu in Mexico, though Beals uses pseudonyms for the men and women he describes. There is an oral history interview of Carleton Beals’ brother Heals, Ralph L., “Anthropologist and Educator: Ralph L. Beals,interviewed by Diane L. Dillon, Oral History Program, University of California, manuscript copy in Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, 1977 . Unfortunately Ralph Beals does not discuss his anti-war views or experiences in Mexico at any length, though he does tell us about himself and Carleton and their first months there. Charles Shipman [Charles Francis Phillips] wrote a memoir entitled It Had to Be Revolution: Memoirs of An American Radical, with a Foreword by Klehr, Harvey (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993), which describes Phillips’s exile and political activities in Mexico. The published version differs a bit from the manuscript version in the Jaffe papers in the archives at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The memoir should also be supplemented by consulting the often more politically interesting and informative: Gómez, Manuel [Phillips, Charles Francis], “From Mexico to Moscow,Survey: A Journal of Soviet and East European Studies 53 (October 1964) pp. 3347 and 55 (April 1965), pp. 116-125. Gale’s, Linn A.E. Genealogy of the Descendants of David Gale of Sutton, Mass. (Oxford, New York: The Times Publishing Company, 1909) contains a youthful autobiography. Gale also wrote several autobiographical articles about his slacker experiences in Gale’s Magazine. Gale claimed in a letter in the 1930s that he had written an autobiographical memoir about the American war resisters in Mexico, but I have not been able to locate any such manuscript or published book. Equally important for piecing together the slackers’ experience is Roy, M.N., Memoirs (Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1984), most of which deals with the Mexican experience. Roy, a great storyteller, tends to exaggerate his own role and importance in all events. He also makes many errors in the chronology of events, but his colorful account gives us a good feel for the period and the experiences of his slacker friends. The second group of slackers produced fewer autobiographical writings. Wolfe, Bertram D., A Life in Two Centuries, with an Introduction by Leonard Shapiro (New York: Stein and Day, 1981) contains a long, detailed, but not always completely forthcoming account of his Mexican adventures. Lewis Corey [Louis Fraina] drafted an “Outline for Autobiography,” 1953, which can be found in his papers at Columbia University, Box 2, Folder 3. And, before he went to Mexico, Sen Katayama wrote a Japanese language autobiography, Jiden (Tokyo, 1954). The later introduction to Jiden only spends one sentence on his Mexican experience. In addition, there exist three autobiographies by Mexicans or Mexican Americans who worked with the slackers; these are by Valadés, Jose C., Coria, Pedro, and Olivares, Francisco T.. Valadés, the leader of a radical youth group, was one of the first recruits to the young Mexican Communist Party. His Memorias de Un Joven Rebelde (Mexico: Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, 1985), 2 vols., is filled with descriptions and discussions of the slackers, and paints a fascinating picture of the left in the 1920s. Pedro Coria, the Mexican-American 1WW member, wrote a biography in the 1960s which was published in the 1970s in the newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World in several parts: “Adventures of An Indian Mestizo,” Industrial Worker (Chicago), January, February, March, April, and May issues, 1971. Coria tells the story of his career as a Wobbly organizer and also offers his views as a working class pacifist. Mexican textile worker, Francisco T. Olivares, left his description of the early Mexican Communist Party which touches on the slackers: Testimonio de un sindicalista Santarrosino de los afios veinte,” in Díaz, Bernardo Garcia, Textiles del Valle de Orizaba I (1880-1925): (Cinco ensayos de historia sindical y social) (Xalapa, Veracruz: Universidad Veracruzana, Centro de Investigaciones Históricas, 1990), pp. 24972. While not an American or a slacker, Joseph Retinger, the Polish-born, French-educated, British-connected labor and leftist activist, had much in common with the U.S. I war resisters. While in Mexico he became a publicist for Luis Morones, the head of the CROM. Unfortunately there is little about Mexico in his Memoirs of an Eminence Grise, edited by John Pomian with a foreword by Prince, H.R.H. Bernhard of the Netherlands (Sussex: Sussex University Press, 1972).

31 Shipman, It Had to Be Revolution, pp. 1 -52; Kraft, Barbara S., The Peace Ship: Henry Ford’s Pacifist Adventure in the First World War (New York: Macmillan, 1978), p. 116 and Appendix; the story is also told in the pages of the New York Socialist newspaper The Call and in the New York Times: “3 Students Seized on Anti-Draft Charge;” The Call, June 1, 1917; “Phillips Sticks to His Vow Not to Register,” The Call, June 6, 1917; “Draft Slackers Must Face Trail,” The New York Times, June 7, 1917; “Objector to Draft Agrees to Register,” The Call, June 7, 1917; “Colombia Girl Is Acquitted in No-Draft Case,” The Call, June 21, 1917; “Draft Illegal, Hillquit Tells Judge,” The Call, June 19, 1917; “Boys, Accused of Conspiracy, Give Testimony,” The Call, June 20, 1917; “Anti-Draft Case Goes to Jury Today, The New York Times, June 23, 1917; “Two Students Fined $500 and Day in Custody,” The Call, July 13, 1917; “Objector to Draft Agrees to Register,” The Call, June 7, 1917; “‘Patriotism’ Convicted Two Students, Says Writer,” The Call, June 23, 1917; “Draft Opponent May be Jailed,” The Call, June 13, 1917; “Draft Slackers Must Face Trial,” The New York Times, June 7, 1917.

32 “Draft Opponent May Be Jailed,” The Call, June 18, 1917; “Draft Slackers Must Face Trail,” New York Times, June 7, 1917; “Kramer Trial June 11; May Free Students; H.P. Levine, School Teacher, Arraigned for Not Registering, Spent Night in Jail,” The Call, June 8, 1917; “Limit of Law for Objectors to Draft,” The Call, June 14, 1917; “Gets Law’s Limit for Defying Draft,” New York Times, June 15, 1917; “Levine Dismissed by School Board,” The Call, June 13, 1917; “Board Dismisses Levine,” New York Times, June 12, 1917; “Levine Refuses Physical Test,” The Call, August 9, 1917; “Teacher Who Resisted Draft Content in Jail,” The Call, September 3, 1917.

33 Britton, John A., Beals: A Radical Journalist in Latin America (New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1987), pp. 1011 ; Carleton Beals, Glass Houses, passim; Carleton Beals, Brimstone and Chili, p. 294; “Anthropologist and Educator; Ralph L. Beals,” interviewed by Dillon, Diane L., Oral History Program, University of California; manuscript copy in Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1977, pp. 1932 .

34 “Robert Haberman suspected German Agent,” report by John M. Murphy of the FBI’s New Orleans Office, July 1917, is a 300-page report obtained under FOIA (hereafter FBI Report on Haberman); “Robert Haberman” (obituary) New York Times, March 5, 1962; Gregory A. Andrews, “Robert Haberman, Socialist Ideology, and the Politics of National Reconstruction in Mexico,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 6 (Summer 90); Gregg Andrews, , Shoulder to Shoulder? The American Federation of Lahor and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), Chapter 6 , “Roberto Haberman, the AFL, and Mexican Radicalism, 1917-1924,” pp. 140-168; Botz, Dan La, “Haberman, Roberto and the Origins of Modern Mexico’s Jewish community,” American Jewish Archives 63 (Spring/Summer 1991), pp. 721 .

35 Linn A.E. Gale Geneaology, p. 54; Linn A.E. Gale, “Economic Determinism and the ‘Norwich Sun’,” Gale’s Magazine, March 1919, p, 12; Linn A.E., “We Slackers in Mexico,” Gale’s Magazine, March 1919, p. 21; Linn A.E. Gale, “Who is this Man Gale?,” Gale’s Magazine, March, 1919, p. 3; Linn A.E. Gale, “Two Years Ago I Became a Slacker,” Gale’s Magazine, May 1920. Letter of June 16, 1920 from Linn E.E. Gale to José Allen, page 3, RG 165, Box 2290, USMID, National Archives.

36 Historian Barry Carr first unmasked Allen as a U.S. government spy based on documents in the U.S. National Archives in an article published in 1981. “Radical Trip: Los orígenes del PCM,” Nexos (April 1981). Carr based his case on a U.S. government document, B.S. 330 2202600-1913 and on Record Group 165, Bureau of Investigation, USNA. See also Barry Carr, Marxism and Communism, p. 20.

37 Serge, Victor, Memoirs of a Revolutionary (New York: Writers and Readers, 1984), p. 104 .

38 Historians of the Communist Party have discussed the slackers at least in passing: Carr, Barry, Marxism and Communism in Twentieth Century Mexico (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992) mentions them in Chapter I, “The Early Mexican Communist Party,” pp. 1447 ; Verdugo, Arnoldo discusses them in his essay “De la anarquía al comunismo,” in Arnoldo Verdugo, ed., Historia del comunismo en Mexico Mexico: Gijalbo, 1985 . The fullest discussion of the slackers can be found in Taibo II, Paco Ignacio, Los Bolshevikis: historia narrativa de los orígenes del comunismo en México, (1919-1925) (Mexico: Joaquín Mortiz, 1986). Taibo sees them more as interlopers rather than internationalists, perhaps because he did not have an appreciation of their radical activities in the United States.

39 Phillips, It Had to be Revolution, p. 116.

40 Daniela Spenser, Impossible Triangle, pp. 51 -62. Spenser mentions the role of the slackers and discusses how the forces of the United States, Soviet Russia, and the new Mexican state acted on each other in this era.

41 Letter from A.E. Gale to Plutarco Elías Calles. October 30, 1924. File “The Gale News Service,” Gav. 73, Exp. 12, Inv. 5594, Archivo Plutarco Elias Calles, Fideicomiso Calles Torreblanca.

42 Gale discusses his arrest and jailing in 1919 for publishing a booklet on birth control in Spanish in the article “In the Penitentiary,” Gale’s Magazine, July 8, 1919. See Linn A.E. Gale, “Occultism and Spiritualism,” Gale’s Magazine, August 1919, p. 14.

43 Gale, Linn A.E., “The Duty of Mexican Socialists,” Gale’s Magazine August 1919, p. 8 .

44 Gale, Linn A.E., “The Reason for Intervention in Mexico—and the Result,Gale’s Magazine, January 1920 .

45 Phillips, It Had to be Revolution, pp. 100-150. For signed and unsigned articles, but clearly written and edited by Phillips, see, tor example, “India’s Reward For Her Part in the War,” El Heraldo, September 19, 1919 (M.N. Roy might have written that article); “Self-Determination as Applied to Egypt,” El Heraldo, October 31,1919; “Poor Persia Is Saved by England,” El Heraldo, September 5,1919; “This World Has Had Enough of War,” El Heraldo, June 13, 1919; “The Future of the Monroe Doctrine,” El Heraldo, September 21, 1919; “America’s Share in the Spoils of War,” El Heraldo, September 26, 1919; “Why the League Will Fail,” El Heraldo, September 20, 1919; “U.S. Officers Planning. . ., ” El Heraldo, July 29, 1919; and “The Psychology of Intervention,” El Heraldo, August 3, 1919. Phillips called for Americans living in Mexico to oppose U.S. intervention in articles such as: “Write At Once to Your Home Newspaper,” El Heraldo, August 6, 1919; “How Americans Can Help Mexico,” El Heraldo, August 13, 1919; and “Americans Here Must not Be Silent,” El Heraldo, August 8, 1919. “Mexico’s Hope Lies in the U.S. Labor Movement,” El Heraldo, September 14, 1919 envisioned an alliance between U.S. unions and the Mexican Revolution.

46 FBI Report on Haberman, passim.

47 The protest statement dated May 29, 1913 was signed by Ocampo, Epigmenio H., Medina, Luis, Salgado, Adolfo, and Sánchez, Agapito Leon, and can be found in Rosendo Salazar’s Las Pugnas de la Gleba in the two volume edition of his writings: Rosendo Salazar, Rosendo Salatar (Mexico: Partido Revolucionario Institucional, 1972), vol. I, p. 56 .

48 Cantú, Gastón García, El Socialismo en México (Mexico: Ediciones Era, 1969), pp. 139131 .

49 Daniela Spenser agues that this did not come about as a result of the decisions of the Socialist Party Congress, as claimed in earlier accounts. Nevertheless, it does seem correct to me to call it a split in the small Socialist Party, even if not via the Congress. Daniela Spenser and Rina Ortiz, eds., “La Internacional Comunista en México: Los Primeros Tropiezos: Antología Documental,” manuscript, xxi-xxii. Thanks to Dr. Spenser for the loan of a copy of the manuscript of her forthcoming book.

50 Valadés, José C., Memorias de un joven rebelde (Mexico: Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, 1986), 2a parte, pp. 76, 83-84.

51 “Who’s Who Material—Mexican Radical Elements,” Oct. 15, 1920. RG 165, Box 2290, USNA.

52 The slackers also organized a small feminist movement, for feminism formed part of both their American experience and their Russian Bolshevik ideology. I will take up their feminist organizing in another paper.

53 Dubofsky, Melvyn, We Shall Be All: The History of the Industrial Workers of the World (New York: Quadrangle, 1969), pp. 31318 .

54 Joseph, Gilbert M., Revolution from Without: Yucatán, Mexico and the United States, 1880-1924 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1988), pp. 200202 .

55 Osario, Arnulfo Embriz and Ricardo Leon García, , eds., Documentos Para la Historia del Agrarismo en Michoacán (N.P., Centro de Estudios Históricos del Agrarismo en México, 1982), pp. 7080 .

56 The meeting is mentioned in Sánchez, Martín, Grupos de poder y centralización política en Mexico. El caso Michoacan 1920-1924 (Mexico: Insituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana and Secretaría de Gobernación, 1994), pp. 180-83, and fn. 358, p. 183 .

57 “Expulsión de Linn A.E. Gale y esposa. Gastos,” Expediente 27-3-35, SRE; “Mexico Deports Radicals: Herman M. Levine, of New York Returned to the United States,” Washington Post, May 27, 1921, clipping in Box 2291, Record Group 165, USMID, USNA. Many records in AGN and USNA as well as contemporary newspaper accounts allow us to follow the expulsion, arrest and trial of Gale and Levine.

58 Friedrich, Paul, Agrarian Revolt in a Mexican Village (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970), pp. 58130 ; Cuerrero, Alicias Castellaños and Rivas, Gilberto Lopez, Primo Tapia de a Cruz, un hijo del pueblo (N.P.: Centro de estudios del Agrarismo en Mexico y Confederación Nacional Campesina, 1991), pp. 2951 ; Apolinar Martínez Mugica, Tapia, Primo: Semblanza de un Revolucionario (Morelia: Ediciones del Gobierno de Michoacán, 1976), passim.

59 Fowler, Heather, “The Agrarian Revolution in the State of Veracruz, 1920-1940: The Role of Peasant Organization” (Ph.D. Diss., American University, 1970), pp. 9194 ; Falcón, Romana and García, Soledad, La semilla en el surco: Adalberto Tejeda y el radicalismo en Veracruz: 1883-1960 (Mexico: Colegio de Mexico, 1986), pp. 135161 .

60 Fowler, pp. 63-64.

61 Falcon and Garcia, pp. 186-187.

62 Taibo, Los bolshevikis, pp. 47 and 56.

63 Carr, Marxism and Communism, p. 28.

64 Daniela Spenser, private communication, letter of March 17, 2005. She writes: “I claim that the Comintern group left little imprint on labor organizing and even less on the campesinos. If Primo Tapia or Úrsulo joined the party, it was because they hoped the party would help them to advance what was central to their concern: the land. Once the party ceased to consider the peasants as malleable masses, because all they wanted was land, it had no time for them. Tapia was killed too soon to find all this out; Úrsulo lived in the flesh the party’s ostracism and died too soon as well for us to know the rest of the story.”

American “Slackers” in the Mexican Revolution: International Proletarian Politics in the Midst of a National Revolution

  • Dan La Botz (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed