Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution:
Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual

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From Chapter 3

A Beam of Light, a Loaded Gun

Metaphysical Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution:
Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual
By C.M. Mayo (Dancing Chiva, 2014)


When we talk about a "successful book," usually what we mean is one that has a brand-name publisher, enjoys prime shelf space in bookstores, and earns its author buckets of royalties. In other words, we talk about it as a commodity—or, if we're a mite more sophisticated, a hybrid commodity / work of art / scholarship. I say "we" because I am writing and I presume you are reading this in a time and place where books are no longer banned by the government, their authors no longer casually imprisoned—or worse. Lulled by endless streams of made-for-the-movies thrillers and romances, we forget that, as Ray Bradbury put it, "A book is a loaded gun."

Francisco I. Madero intended his Manual espírita to be a beam of light, to heal Mexico and the world with his consoling concepts of the nature and meaning of life. However, it is a book that stands on the shoulders of his first book that was, indeed, a loaded gun: La sucesión presidencial en 1910, published in the winter of 1909 when Don Porfirio Díaz, the dictator who had stolen the presidency in a coup d'état and ruled Mexico on and off for over thirty years, was about to celebrate his eightieth birthday and, as Mexico's so-called "necessary man," take for himself a seventh term.

Madero had no interest in the capitalist concept of a book's success; he wanted La sucesión presidencial en 1910 in people's hands, and as fast as possible, and for that he did not need bookstores, he needed a jump-start on Don Porfirio's police. He paid for the printing himself (a first edition of 3,000, and later more) and, as he noted in a letter:

[T]he first precaution I took was to hand out 800 copies to members of the press and intellectuals throughout Mexico, so when the Government got wind of the book's circulation, it would be too late to stop it. . .
Enterprising, daring, and sophisticated he may have been, but because we are of his future, we cannot see Francisco I. Madero without also seeing his death. From that grim night of February 22, 1913, its shadow seeps back into his presidency of a mere fifteen months; his campaigns, both political and military; the writing of La Sucesión presidencial en 1910 and, what interests us here, his second book, his Manual espírita.

A loaded gun, alas, can spray fire in unexpected directions.

And then, too, there are the real guns.

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