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Extreme Weather and the Mexican Revolution: Historical Reality and Perception

November 14, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


This talk will present recently published research that combines environmental history and historical climatology to examine the relationship between extreme weather events, especially drought and frost, and the origins of the Mexican Revolution. Wolfe’s findings suggest that inaccurate and misleading weather reporting—what he calls “politico-environmental” coverage—by a variety of newspapers throughout the country was as important as actual climatic variability in exacerbating the economic and political crises that culminated in the 1910-11 armed insurrection. Wolfe’s research not only changes our understanding of the Mexican Revolution; it also helps to historicize the current study of climate change and conflict, such as in the Syrian civil war, which has a number of striking parallels to Mexico’s civil war exactly one century before.

Mikael Wolfe is an environmental historian of water and climate issues in modern Latin America and author of Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico (Duke University Press, 2017).

Presented by the Center for World History,


November 14, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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