The presidency of Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940) has long been viewed as the successful apogee of Mexico's "Institutionalized Revolution." Scholars have traditionally portrayed Cardenas as a widely popular reformer: the idealist who gave peasants land and the nationalist who seized American oil company properties. Others hold him responsible for establishing Mexico's modern authoritarian state. Now these interpretations are challenged in this evocative book, which examines the vital role of the Mexican right on the eve of cardenismo and during its tenure. Even while the institutional right withered in the face of Mexico's Revolutionary leviathan, a new right emerged and undermined cardenismo in Mexico's fundamentally conservative political culture. Employing the media, literature, and spontaneous grassroots politics, the right appealed to values rooted in faith, family, and fatherland, and convinced a majority of Mexicans that "Fat Lips" Cardenas's vision for their country was radical and dangerous. The 1940 presidential election debacle followed, when the President imposed his moderate successor on a reluctant electorate. Despite this, the Cardenista agenda for Mexico could not endure. Cardenismo, rather than a defining point in 20th-century Mexican history, became only a noteworthy exception to a continuity of conservatism.