In the Vortex of Violence examines the practice of lynching—defined as an extralegal, public, and asymmetrical form of collective violence—in central Mexico from the 1930s to the 1950s. The book situates lynching as part of a broader history of violence and legitimacy. Instead of attributing lynching to state absence or weakness, Gema Kloppe-Santamaría shows how state authorities and society negotiated the prevalence of lynching as part of an informal idea of justice: from looking the other way to triggering them directly with their presence, thus refusing to inscribe lynching into top-down or bottom-up narratives. It is neither a means for oppression nor a weapon of the weak, she argues, but rather a tool of social control, informed by local motives, rumors, and fears, which may take on different meanings and interpretation—as resistance, corrective justice, scapegoating, or el mal menor. Most lynch mobs targeted people considered at the margins of...
Review: In the Vortex of Violence: Lynching, Extralegal Justice, and the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, by Gema Kloppe-Santamaría
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Rodrigo Salido Moulinié; Review: In the Vortex of Violence: Lynching, Extralegal Justice, and the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, by Gema Kloppe-Santamaría. Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 1 February 2022; 38 (1): 205–208. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/msem.2022.38.1.205
Download citation file: