Dr William A. Booth

  • Mexico
  • Marxism
  • Cold War

My research expertise lies in three connected fields. First, the history of Mexico, focusing on post-Revolution state formation and party politics during the Cold War. Second, this domestic political history is set within twentieth-century comparative and transnational history, with emphases on Latin America, the USA and the Cold War. Finally, the ideological and organisational aspects are part of the international history of communism, in both its intellectual and institutional forms.

While I have undertaken a good deal of research on Mexican political and intellectual history, my work has always been transnational in nature, concentrating increasingly on networks of radicals, revolutionaries, writers, publishers, political parties and thinkers in the Western Hemisphere, as well as examining regional and bilateral relationships between governments and parties.

There are three related threads running through my primary research strand: first, the nature of the relationship between the Marxist left and the ruling PRI in Mexico; second, the extent to which the Cold War arrived in Mexico prior to 1959, incorporating both intergovernmental relations and the influence of hemispheric political tendencies; and third, how significant and/or representative Mexico is (both within Latin America and more widely) in the previously-identified frameworks, i.e. Marxism and nationalism on the one hand, and the early Cold War in Latin America on the other.

I have developed a secondary research strand examining the relationship of various writers with politics and race in post-revolutionary Mexico, including B. Traven, Martín Luis Guzmán and Langston Hughes; the latter forms the focus of a current project examining Hughes’ idea of Mexico as a ‘brown man’s country’ and the absence of Afro-Mexicanity in his earlier work. I am also interested in the relationship between radical politics and science fiction, particularly in the work of Kim Stanley Robinson and Margaret Atwood.


I currently teach:

Prelims: FHS:
General History IV (1815-1914)

Further Subject: Modern Mexico 1876-1994

The British Isles VI (1830-1951) Disciplines of History
Optional Subject 14: Haiti and Louisiana European and World History IX (North America, 1763-1898)
Optional Subject 16: The Rise and Crises of European Socialisms European and World History X (Europe, 1830-1914)
  European and World History XII (United States since 1863)
  European and World History XIII (Europe, 1914-1989)
  European and World History XIV (The Global Twentieth Century, 1930-2003)
  The British Isles VI (1815-1924)
  The British Isles VII (1900 – )
In the Media

I appear regularly on the radio (LBC) discussing Latin American politics and history; some appearances are collated here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdCEb4gCRprIwbL5qQjtMw