No struggle has been more contentious or of longer duration in Mexican national history than that between a centripetal power in the capital and the centrifugal federalism of the Mexican states. Much as they do in the United States, such tensions still endure in Mexico, despite the centralising effect of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20. Timothy E. Anna turns his attention upon the crucial postindependence period of 1821-35 to understand both the theoretical and the practical causes of the development of this polarity. He attempts to determine how much influence can be ascribed to such causes as the model of the United States, the effect of European thinkers, and the shifting self-interest of various leaders and groups in Mexican society. The result is a nuanced and thoughtful analysis of the development of one of the defining characteristics of the Mexican nation: regional power and sovereignty of the state. Forging Mexico, 1821-1835 is a study both of the political history of the first republic and of the struggle to forge nationhood. Timothy E. Anna is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Manitoba. His books include The Fall of the Royal Government in Mexico City and The Mexican Empire of Iturbide.