Mexican Icarus

Aviation and the Modernization of Mexican Identity, 1928-1960

Soland deftly weaves together the theme of aviation with several major strands of Mexican history, including political and economic development, popular culture, and technological modernization. He makes a persuasive case that the rise of modern aviation helped to invest common citizens and political leaders alike in the broader effort to refashion Mexico’s national identity in the twentieth century.
Ryan Alexander, SUNY Plattsburgh

The development of aviation in Mexico reflected more than a pragmatic response to the material challenges brought on by the 1910 Revolution. It was also an effective symbol for promoting the aspirations of the new elite who attained prominence during the war and who fixated on technology as a measure of national progress. The politicians, industrialists, and cultural influencers in the media who made up this group molded the aviator into an avatar of modern citizenship. The figure of the pilot as a model citizen proved an adept vessel for disseminating the values championed by the official party of the Revolution and validating the technological determinism that underpinned its philosophy of development. At the same time, the archetype of the aviator camouflaged problematic aspects of the government’s unification and development plans that displaced and exploited poor and Indigenous communities.

256 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

May, 2023

isbn : 9780822947608

about the author

Peter B. Soland

Peter B. Soland is assistant professor of Latin American history and coordinator of the Latin American studies minor at Southeast Missouri State University.

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Peter B. Soland