Setting the rules of freedom : the trajectory of the press jury
Representing public opinion : combat journalists and the business of honor
"The word of my conscience" : eloquence and the foreign debt
Breaking lamps and expanding the public sphere : students and populacho against the deuda inglesa
Honor and the state : reputation as a juridical good
"A horrible web of insults" : the everyday defense of honor
"One does not talk to the dead" : the Romero-Verástegui affair and the apogee of dueling in Mexico.
In the mid-to-late nineteenth century, as Mexico emerged out of the decades of civil war and foreign invasion, a modern notion of honour - of one's reputation and self-worth - became the keystone in the construction of public culture. Mexicans gave great symbolic, social, and material value to honour. Only honourable men could speak in the name of the public. Honour earned these men, and a few women, support and credit, and gave civilian politicians a claim to authority after an era dominated by military heroism. Tracing changing notions of honour in nineteenth-century Mexico, Pablo Piccato examines legislation, journalism, parliamentary debates, criminal defamation cases, personal stories, urban protests, and the rise and decline of duelling in the 1890s. He highlights the centrality of notions of honour to debates over the nature of Mexican liberalism, explaining how honour helped to define the boundaries between public and private life; balance competing claims of free speech, public opinion, and the protection of individual reputations; and motivate politicians, writers, and other men to enter public life. As Piccato explains, under the authoritarian rule of Porfirio Diaz, the state became more active in the protection of individual reputations. It implemented new restrictions on the press. This did not prevent people from all walks of life from defending their honour and reputations, whether in court or through violence. The Tyranny of Honor is a major contribution to a new understanding of Mexican political history and the evolution of Mexican civil society. (source: Nielsen Book Data)