Womack’s ZAPATA 3
shift. At this point, Womack loses a little of his authority regarding revolution analysis becauseit is at this point where the figure of Zapata becomes more central to the account than thesurrounding sociopolitical environment of Mexico. Of course, this shift in focus does notdiscredit Womack’s research. On the contrary, the shift in concentration merely indicates hisemphasis on the individual in his analytical approach to revolutions. In addition, the figure of Zapata, highly evocative even to this day, is cloaked in myth and fable. Such a culturallyintegral figure cannot help but represent a larger message—in this case, a larger movement.Despite his immense research, Womack (1968) cannot completely separate reality from culturalrepresentation, and although he strays from examination of the revolution in a broader context,Zapata can be perceived as the historical representation of many. Not surprisingly, given the immediate indication of Womack’s selected title,
ZAPATAand the Mexican Revolution
places a significant emphasis on Zapata’s charismatic leadership andthe ensuing possibility for social change as a direct result of Zapata’s magnetic personality.Beginning his narrative (Womack 1968: 3-7) with a prologue reimagining the election of Emiliano Zapata for the village representative council and concluding his analysis (Womack 1968: 371-386) with an epilogue detailing the enduring influence and inspiration of Zapata’smemory, Womack makes his central focus regarding the Mexican Revolution profoundly clear:the Mexican Revolution was a movement made possible because of the leadership of anindividual. True, Womack provides a thorough background of sociopolitical conditions thatmade such a revolutionary figure possible. Nevertheless, the author’s dedicated concentration onZapata as a revolutionary figure faintly echoes another author’s emphasis on the power andinfluence of the individual.