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Author Paxman, Andrew, 1967- author

Title Jenkins of Mexico : how a Southern farm boy became a Mexican magnate / Andrew Paxman
Published New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2017]
Online access available from:
Oxford Scholarship Online    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (509 pages) : illustrations, map
Contents Coming of age in Tennessee -- Fortune-seeking in Mexico -- How to get rich in a revolution -- Kidnapped, jailed, vilified -- Empire at Atencingo -- Resistance at Atencingo -- With Maximino -- Mining the Golden Age of Mexican cinema -- Enterprise, profiteering, and the death of the Golden Age -- The Jenkins foundation and the battle for the soul of the PRI -- Jenkins' earthly afterlife -- Epilogue: the mixed legacy of William O. Jenkins
Summary "In the city of Puebla there lived an American who made himself into the richest man in Mexico. Driven by a steely desire to prove himself--first to his wife's family, then to Mexican elites--William O. Jenkins rose from humble origins in Tennessee to build a business empire in a country energized by industrialization and revolutionary change. In Jenkins of Mexico, Andrew Paxman presents the first biography of this larger-than-life personality. When the decade-long Mexican Revolution broke out in 1910, Jenkins preyed on patrician property owners and bought up substantial real estate. He suffered a scare with a firing squad and then a kidnapping by rebels, an episode that almost triggered a US invasion. After the war he owned textile mills and the country's second-largest bank, developed Mexico's most productive sugar plantation, and helped finance the rise of a major political family, the Ávila Camachos. During the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s-50s, he lorded over the film industry with his movie theater monopoly and key role in production. Reputed as an exploiter of workers, a puppet-master of politicians, and Mexico's wealthiest industrialist, Jenkins was the gringo that Mexicans loved to loathe. After his wife's death, he embraced philanthropy and willed his entire fortune to a foundation named for her, which co-founded two prestigious universities and funded projects to improve the lives of the poor in his adopted country. Using interviews with Jenkins' descendants, family papers, and archives in Puebla, Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Washington, Jenkins of Mexico tells a contradictory tale of entrepreneurship and monopoly, fearless individualism and cozy deals with power-brokers, embrace of US-style capitalism and political anti-Americanism, and Mexico's transformation from semi-feudal society to emerging economic power"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Jenkins, William O. (William Oscar), 1878-1963
Jenkins, William O. (William Oscar), 1878-1963.
Americans -- Mexico -- Biography
Businessmen -- Mexico -- Biography
Philanthropists -- Mexico -- Biography
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS -- Industries -- General.
Economic history.
HISTORY -- Latin America -- Mexico.
HISTORY -- United States -- 20th Century.
Mexico -- Biography
Mexico -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
Puebla de Zaragoza (Mexico) -- Biography
Tennessee -- Biography
Mexico -- Puebla de Zaragoza.
Genre/Form Biography.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2017006803
ISBN 0190455756 (electronic bk.)
9780190455750 (electronic bk.)
(hardcover ; alk. paper)
(hardcover ; alk. paper)