Released: January 1995
Translated by Frank Bardacke, Leslie López, and the Watsonville California, Human Rights Committee
Introduction by John Ross
Afterword by Frank Bardacke
Since the 1994 uprisings in the Mexican state of Chiapas, the spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a masked rebel who calls himself Subcomandante Marcos, has become a symbol of revolt in the post-cold war era. Here are the words of Marcos—letters, stories for children, military communiqués, demands, poems, descriptions of colonial exploitation, travelogues, history lessons, spoofs of magic realism, subtle jokes, and inspiring anecdotes—which recast Mexican politics and revived rebel imaginations everywhere. They look backward to the traditions of Indian resistance and the dominant ideals of the Mexican revolution; they look forward to political strategies, styles, and theories that challenge the dominance of capitalism. The wit, anger, irony, and eloquence of these letters and communiqués document how history is being made after “the end of history.”
The Introduction by John Ross situates the Zapatistas in the context of Mexican history and the Afterword by Frank Bardacke discusses their language and politics, as well as their meaning for the U.S. left.
I did not expect such imagination or clarity from a Subcomandante, nor did I expect the fine sense of Humor which enriches his writing. He writes with a fine passion for justice but also with unusual compassion for his adversaries. No boring political rhetoric or pompous academic cant. Subcomandante Marcos uses stories—ancient as well as recent—to reveal the origins of the 1994 Zapatista uprising…. Shadows of Tender Fury is essential reading.