Enrique Krauze

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Enrique Krauze presenting his book La presidencia imperial

Enrique Krauze Kleinbort (b. September 16, 1947 in Mexico City), widely known just as Enrique Krauze, is a Mexican public intellectual, cultural entrepreneur, historian, essayist, critic, engineer, polemicist, and publisher. He manages and conducts the Documentary Production Company Clío TV and the renowned cultural magazine Letras Libres.

Krauze received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the UNAM and a doctorate in history from El Colegio de México. In 1978 he received a scholarship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He has been professor and researcher for the Centro de Estudios Históricos at El Colegio de México, visiting professor at St. Antony's College (University of Oxford) (from December 1981 to 1983) and at The Wilson Center (from October to December 1987).

From 1968 to 1970 he participated as a member of the student council as part of the Engineering school. For over twenty years he collaborated with Octavio Paz in Vuelta, where he was deputy editor (1977–1981) and deputy director (1981–1986). In 1992 he created Editorial Clío, which he directs. In 1999 he created the cultural magazine Letras Libres, that is distributed in several Spanish-speaking countries. He is the brother of artist Perla Krauze (b. 1953) and father of journalist León Krauze and novelist Daniel Krauze.

He was Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Latin American Studies of Princeton University (Fall 2013).

Early career[edit]

He published his first article in the Méxican magazine Siempre, when he was 24 years old. A year later he was contributing at Plural magazine, and he entered the editorial staff of Octavio Paz's magazine Vuelta in 1977.

In 1988, Krauze published a famous attack in Vuelta on novelist Carlos Fuentes and his fiction, dubbing him a "guerrilla dandy" for the perceived gap between his Marxist politics and his personal lifestyle.[1] Krauze accused Fuentes of selling out to the PRI government and being "out of touch with Mexico", distorting its people to appeal to foreign audiences: "There is the suspicion in Mexico that Fuentes merely uses Mexico as a theme, distorting it for a North American public, claiming credentials that he does not have."[2][3] The essay caused a permanent rift between Paz and Fuentes, formerly close friends, that lasted until Paz's death.[4] Following Fuentes' death, however, Krauze described him to reporters as "one of the most brilliant writers of the 20th Century".[5]


In 1979 he received the Guggenheim Fellowship. In October 1993 he won the Premio Comillas de Biografía, (given annually by Tusquets publishing house for the best international biography) for his book Siglo de caudillos. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of History since 1990. In May 1992, he was awarded the Medalla al Mérito Histórico "Capitán Alonso de León", and on December 16, 2003 he was granted the Condecoración de la Gran Cruz de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X El Sabio. He entered the Colegio Nacional in México on April 27, 2005. In August 2008 he received the Orden Isabel la Católica given by the Spanish government.


In a recent article published in Bloomberg, Krauze favors the opening of the petroleum industry to private investment [6] and is skeptical about populist policies proposed by ex presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But his support for liberal politics comes from at least three decades ago, specially with his polemic article "Por una democracia sin adjetivos" published for the first time in 1984. In this article, as in many other texts, he shows himself as a liberal, strongly defending democracy as a mechanism of social coexistence, not as a panacea that would bring immediately to his country prosperity and material wealth.

Krauze has been influenced by his mentors Daniel Cosío Villegas and Octavio Paz both Mexican prominent liberals. The priority of democracy before any other political duty has earned him a lot of detractors and opponents, mainly because of the poverty and inequality of his country. And this attitude has been present along all his intellectual trajectory, such as the 2006 Mexican federal elections in which he openly attacked the leftist candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, because of the absence of democratic principles in his proposals, policies, and ideas according to the point of view of Krauze's "El mesías tropical", a controversial text.[7]

He was during the authoritarian regime a severe critic of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, specially because of the antiliberal characteristics of the government: lack of free and impartial elections, balance of powers, and restriction of State, calling that period the Imperial Presidency.


  • Caudillos culturales en la Revolución Mexicana”, Siglo XXI, México, 1976.
  • ”Historia de la Revolución Mexicana. La reconstrucción económica. 1924-1928”, El Colegio de México, México, 1977.
  • ”Daniel Cosío Villegas. Una biografía intelectual”, Joaquín Mortiz, México, 1980.
  • ”Caras de la historia”, Joaquín Mortiz, México, 1983.
  • ”Por una democracia sin adjetivos”, Joaquín Mortiz -Planeta, México, 1986.
  • ”Biografía del poder”, en ocho volúmenes: I. “Porfirio Díaz. Místico de la autoridad”; II. “Francisco I. Madero. Místico de la libertad”; III. “Emiliano Zapata. El amor a la tierra”; IV. “Francisco Villa. Entre el ángel y el fierro”; V. “Venustiano Carranza. Puente entre siglos”; VI. “Álvaro Obregón. El vértigo de la victoria”; VII. “Plutarco Elías Calles. Reformar desde el origen”; VIII. “Lázaro Cárdenas. General misionero”, Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, 1987.
  • ”Personas e ideas”, Vuelta, México, 1989.
  • ”Textos heréticos”, Grijalbo, México, 1992.
  • ”Siglo de caudillos. Biografía política de México (1810-1910)”, Tusquets Editores, Barcelona, 1994.
  • ”Tiempo contado”, Océano, México, 1996.
  • Mexico: Biography of Power. A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996”, Harper Collins Publishers, Nueva York, 1997.
  • ”La presidencia imperial”, Tusquets Editores, México, 1997.
  • Mexico: Biography of Power (Harper Perennial, 1998) ISBN 0-06-092917-0
  • ”La Historia cuenta”, Tusquets Editores, México, 1998.
  • ”Mexicanos eminentes”, Tusquets Editores, México, 1999.
  • ”Tarea política”, Tusquets Editores, 2000.
  • ”Travesía liberal”, Tusquets Editores, México, 2003.
  • ”La presencia del pasado”, Tusquets Editores, México, 2005.
  • "Para salir de Babel", Tusquets Editores, México, 2006.
  • ”Retratos personales”, Tusquets Editores, 2007.
  • "El poder y el delirio", Tusquets Editores, México, 2008.
  • Redentores: Ideas y poder en America Latina, Debate Editorial, Random House Mondadori, 2011.
  • Reedemers. Ideas and Power in Latin America, Harper Collins, New York, 2012.
  • "Octavio Paz. El poeta y la revolución", Random House, México, 2014.

Other work[edit]

He has also produced Mexico Siglo XX and México Nuevo Siglo, two historical TV series about Mexico, on Televisa in Mexico, and for PBS in the United States. México Nuevo Siglo was the first producer to show in public television the bloody events of the student massacre in 1968 in Tlatelolco. He is member of Televisa's Board[8] but has criticized its cultural content.


When the raiding of a shelter revealed that children were kept in inhumane conditions and her director was arrested, he led the defense of the director, Mama Rosa, in the media. He argued that the decision of raiding the shelter was inexplicable and that he was sure that the shelter was wonderful. The shelter has a wall with an inscription "Autenticos Ganapanes. Enrique Krauze" [9]


  1. ^ Marjorie Miller (May 17, 2012). "Appreciating Mexican author Carlos Fuentes". Google News. Associated Press. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ Reed Johnson and Ken Ellingwood (May 16, 2012). "Carlos Fuentes dies at 83; Mexican novelist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mexico mourns death of Carlos Fuentes". The Telegraph (London). May 15, 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Marcela Valdes (May 16, 2012). "Carlos Fuentes, Mexican novelist, dies at 83". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Reaction to death of Mexican author Carlos Fuentes". CBS News. May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Mexico's New Leaders Must Preserve Its Democratic Gains". Bloomberg. 
  7. ^ http://www.letraslibres.com/revista/convivio/el-mesias-tropical
  8. ^ "Consejo de Administración" (in Spanish). Televisa. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Sale en defensa de Mamá Rosa el escritor Enrique Krauze". Excelsior. 20014-07-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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