Enrique Krauze

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Krauze in June 2006

Enrique Krauze Kleinbort (born September 17, 1947 in Mexico City), is a Mexican public intellectual, historian, essayist, critic, producer, and publisher. He has written numerous books about the Mexican Revolution and leading figures in Mexican history, as well as economic analysis of the nation's history.

Krauze founded Editorial Clío publishing house in 1992. He also manages and operates the Documentary Production Company Clío TV; the combined company is Editorial Clío Libros y Videos. He has produced two major TV series on Mexican history, which were also shown in the United States. In 1999 he founded what has become a prominent cultural magazine Letras Libres, which is distributed in several Spanish-speaking countries. Mr. Krauze’s various businesses began struggling financially due to the new government of Mexico (4T) rescinding his companies more lucrative contracts. [1]

From early in his career, Krauze collaborated with author Octavio Paz, the Nobel Prize winner, in the magazine Vuelta (Return). He served as deputy editor (1977–1981) and deputy director (1981–1986).

Early life and education[edit]

Enrique Krauze Kleinbort was born in 1947 in Mexico City to parents of Polish Jewish descent. He has two siblings, Jaime and Perla Krauze (b. 1953); the latter became an artist.

Krauze received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the UNAM, where from 1968 to 1970 he participated as a member of the student council. He earned a doctorate in history from El Colegio de México.

In 1978 he received a scholarship for studies from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Early career[edit]

Krauze began writing and published his first article in the Méxican magazine Siempre in 1971, when he was 24 years old. A year later, he was contributing to the magazine Plural.

Krauze published his first book, Caudillos culturales en la Revolución Mexicana (1979) (Cultural Leaders in the Mexican Revolution), which was a study of the Generation of 1915. The following year, he began with the editorial staff of Octavio Paz's magazine Vuelta (Return), serving as deputy editor until 1981. From 1981 to 1986 Krauze was deputy director of the magazine. He was deeply influenced by Paz as his mentor, and this work put him in the center of Mexican intellectual and political life.

During this period, he also had academic study and teaching periods abroad, for more than a year as a 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) in Washington, DC.

Later career[edit]

Krauze's writing has covered a broad range of cultural and political subjects, in both his books and essays. He has studied and explored Mexico's cultural and political history.

In 1988, Krauze published an attack in Vuelta and The New Republic on prominent novelist Carlos Fuentes and his fiction, dubbing him a "guerrilla dandy" for the perceived gap between his professed Marxist politics and his personal lifestyle.[2] Noting Fuentes had lived most of the time out of the country, Krauze accused the author of selling out to the PRI government and being "out of touch with Mexico." Krauze said Fuentes portrayed the culture as violent and corrupt 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."[3][4] The essay was highly controversial; its publication contributed to a permanent rift between Paz and Fuentes, formerly close friends, that lasted until Paz's death.[5] Their estrangement was also based on Fuentes' support for the Sandinistas.[3] Fuentes brushed off the Krauze affair, saying, “I love having critics for breakfast.”[5] Following Fuentes' death nearly a quarter century later in 2012, Krauze praised the author highly, describing him to reporters as "one of the most brilliant writers of the 20th century".[6]

In 1992 he created Editorial Clío publishing house, which he directs. Krauze founded an associated production company, Clío TV, to create documentaries[7] and his company is now called Editorial Clío Libros y Video.

In 1999 he founded the cultural magazine Letras Libres, which is distributed in several Spanish-speaking countries.

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

Economic and political liberalism[edit]

In a July 2012 article published in Bloomberg Opinion, Krauze favored the opening of the Mexican petroleum industry to private investment,[8] as it has been nationalized since 1938. Krauze's support for liberal politics was exemplified by his polemic article, "Por una democracia sin adjetivos," published in 1984, in which he strongly defended democracy as a means of social co-existence, not as a panacea that would immediately produce prosperity and material wealth for Mexico.

Krauze has acknowledged being influenced by his mentors Daniel Cosío Villegas as well as Paz, both prominent Mexican liberals. His ranking of democracy above other political priorities has attracted critics because of many residents in Mexico suffer from deep poverty and social inequality.

Krauze has been consistent in valuing democratic process. In the 2006 Mexican federal elections, he criticized the leftist candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and characterized him as "The tropical Messiah" in his article by that title, as López Obrador lacked democratic principles in his proposals, policies, and ideas.[9]

Krauze has been a severe critic of the late-20th-century Institutional Revolutionary Party, especially because of the antiliberal characteristics of its late governments. He said that they did not guarantee free and impartial elections, lacked a balance of powers, and he summarized their restrictions as "The Imperial Presidency."


In 1979, Krauze received a 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 has been 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." On December 16, 2003, he was granted the Condecoración de la Gran Cruz de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X El Sabio. He was selected for the Colegio Nacional in México on April 27, 2005. In August 2008, he received the Orden Isabel la Católica given by the Spanish government.


  • 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, New York, 1997.
  • ”La presidencia imperial”, Tusquets Editores, México, 1997.
  • ”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]

Among the many documentaries of his production company, Krauze produced Mexico Siglo XX and México Nuevo Siglo, two historical TV series about Mexican history, on Televisa in Mexico; these were also shown on PBS in the United States. México Nuevo Siglo was the first documentary to show on public television the events of the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre. He is a member of Televisa's Board[10] but has criticized its cultural content.[citation needed]


In 2014 the shelter La Gran Familia in Michoacan was raided, and officials revealed the children were kept in inhumane conditions, having to sleep on the floor and beg for alms in the street. The director Rosa Verduzco was arrested in July 2014 on charges of maltreatment and sexual abuse of hundreds of children. Krauze led a defense of her in the media, noting he had written about the shelter's work in 2000, including how many children she had taken in and educated. He did not comment on officials' reports of conditions.[11]


  1. ^ de 2020, 8 de Septiembre. "La dura respuesta de Enrique Krauze a López Obrador: "Gobierne, no distraiga"". infobae (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  2. ^ Marjorie Miller (May 17, 2012). "Appreciating Mexican author Carlos Fuentes". Google News. Associated Press. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Reed Johnson and Ken Ellingwood (May 16, 2012). "Carlos Fuentes dies at 83; Mexican novelist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  4. ^ "Mexico mourns death of Carlos Fuentes". The Telegraph. London. May 15, 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b Marcela Valdes (May 16, 2012). "Carlos Fuentes, Mexican novelist, dies at 83". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  6. ^ "Reaction to death of Mexican author Carlos Fuentes". CBS News. May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.[dead link]
  7. ^ Clío TV
  8. ^ "Mexico's New Leaders Must Preserve Its Democratic Gains". Bloomberg.
  9. ^ Enrique Krauze, "El mesías tropical", Letras Libras, 2006
  10. ^ "Consejo de Administración" (in Spanish). Televisa. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Sale en defensa de Mamá Rosa el escritor Enrique Krauze". Excélsior. 2014-07-16.

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