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MSU Faculty Authors

Author

Donald J. Mabry

Professor Emeritus, History

E-mail address: don.mabry@gmail.com
Website: http://www.historicaltextarchive.com


Donald J. Mabry is a native of Atlanta, Georgia who graduated with honors from Kenyon College, received the M.Ed. from Bowling Green State University, and the Ph.D. in history (with distinction) from Syracuse University. Before joining the faculty of Mississippi State University in 1970, he taught at St. Johns River Community College and Syracuse University. He is an internationally-recognized expert on 20th century Mexican political history, the Latin American narcotics trade, and computer communications for historians. He became a senior research fellow of the Center for International Security and Strategic Studies of Mississippi State in 1981. In 1991, he became Associate Dean, Director of the Institute for the Humanities, and Director of the Biological and Physical Sciences Research Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences. He also served as Acting Director, Center for Visual Creation and Co-Director, Center for Math and Science. He is the author or editor of eleven books and 500 articles, chapters, and reviews. Since he retired in 2003, he has been researching and writing on the history of the Jacksonville Florida Beaches. In 2006, as part of his continued scholarly efforts on that subject, he published the book, World's Finest Beach, the only history of the area, and the articles "A Man and Three Hotels" and "Neptune Was Neptune Before 1931" via the HTA Press (historicaltextarchive.com). He also published an essay on the father of Mexican President-Elect Felipe Calderon and on Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Second World War. In 2010, Mabry was named Historian Emeritus of the Beaches Area Historical Society in Jacksonville Beach.

His historical photographs of Mexico have been published in CD-ROMs and on the World Wide Web. He has given presentations in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Mabry has been interviewed by ABC, CBS, WBGTV-Boston, Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Mississippi Radio Network, Scripps-Howard Newspapers, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, and La Presencia (Bolivia). He has testified as an expert witness to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.S. House Subcommittees on Legislation and National Security and Justice and Agriculture, and served on a expert panel for the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. He has also published an article on the history of a Mississippi-based early rock'n'roll record company. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American history and undergraduate courses in U.S. history.

Dr. Mabry pioneered in introducing historians to the use of the Internet for professional purposes. Don Mabry's Historical Text Archive, the first Internet-based file storage and retrieval site for historians, has won over fifty awards. The Archive has published 70 books and 676 articles in electronic form; it receives 19 million page views a year. He taught Modern Mexico, Colonial Latin America, Latin American Republics, and Computers & History courses via the World Wide Web. Dr. Mabry was also the webmaster of the College of Arts and Sciences.

He and his wife, Paula Crockett Mabry, have four grown children and three grandchildren. Paula headed the Speech and Drama Department at Starkville High School before retirement and is now an award-winning director in community theatre.


World's Finest Beach: A Brief History of the Jacksonville Beaches

Mabry, Donald J.
Publisher: History Press
2010
ISBN: 1596299673

Beginning as a summer resort for the wealthy, the oceanfront of Jacksonville has morphed into an outrageously popular tourist destination, stretching from Atlantic Beach to Neptune Beach. Encompassing a fishing village, luxury hotels, a carnival, railroads, mines and flocks of tourists, these beaches have a vast and eclectic history. Discover how Mayport became an adjunct of one of the largest naval bases in the United States and how a former mine called Mineral City became Ponte Vedra. Noted historian Don Mabry traces the fascinating history of what he still considers home from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first in this warm account of the "World's Finest Beach."



Colonial Latin America

Mabry, Donald J.
Publisher: Llumina Press
2002

Dr. Mabry examines the complexity and richness of over 300 years of Latin American history. This interpretative book succinctly surveys the legacy of the Spanish colonial period and the turbulent aftermath.



Neighbors-Mexico and the United States: Wetbacks and Oil

Mabry, Donald J.
Publisher: Nelson-Hall
1997
ISBN: 0882297813
Collaborators: Robert J. Shafer

In the past several decades, a plethora of books and articles have described Mexico's sunny beaches, stunning archeological sites, and smiling people. This book is the first to explore U.S.-Mexican relations with the understanding and the depth that the subject warrants. Tracing the history of U.S.-Mexican relations from colonial times to the early 1980s, the authors focus most sharply on two major issues that both divide and unite these nations today: immigration and oil.

Authors Donald J. Mabry and Robert J. Shafer, experts in historical and contemporary Mexican and Latin American affairs, point out that while it is never easy for neighboring nations to live in complete harmony, the problems are compounded when one is a developing country and the other a superpower. Through the years, the disparity between Mexico and the U.S. has led to disputes and conflicts of interest, many of which still rankle populations on both sides of the border. Mabry and Shafer explain that the reason some problems, such as illegal immigration, appear to be insoluble is that both countries have ambivalent feelings about these issues. For example, U.S. labor unions, Mexican-Americans legally living in the U.S., and some other groups resent illegal immigrants and "wetbacks," while many employers and farmers welcome them as a source of cheap labor. By the same token, Mexican authorities are critical of the alleged exploitation of Mexican workers in the United States--but they hesitate to protest too loudly, because the migration relieves Mexico's unemployment problems, and the wages that the workers bring back across the border bolster the economy.

Shafer and Mabry begin by outlining a grim but gripping scenario of what may happen if the U.S. and Mexican governments don't succeed in forging a better relationship. The authors point out that the tension between the two countries was greatly reduced in the 1970s with the announcement of vast Mexican oil discoveries. However, Washington handled the situation ineptly, and the opportunity for closer rapport and mutual profit was lost at least temporarily.

Discussing the U.S.-Mexican border, the authors present a vivid picture of mile on mile of harsh and arid country, sparsely populated and virtually impossible to patrol. The chapter includes a brief history of Mexican-U.S. relations, border incidents, and traffic and dramatizes how the long border ties the two countries together, for better or for worse.

Chapter 4 introduces the problem of Mexican immigration and traces its history through World War II. Chapter 5 deals with Mexican oil, from the days of Porfírio Díaz and the early British and American petroleum exploration in Mexico to the recent Mexican-controlled oil bonanza of the 1970s. Chapter 6 describes the immigration problem from the second world war to the early 1980s, and chapter 7 discusses Mexican-Americans and Chicanos. Chapter 8 takes a realistic look at economic dreams and realities, and chapter 9 considers the tasks of diplomacy. The book concludes with three additional scenarios for future U.S.-Mexican relations.



The Latin American Narcotics Trade and U.S. National Security

Mabry, Donald J.
Publisher: Greenwood Press
1989
ISBN: 0313267863

The Latin American narcotics trade is an important national security issue for the United States because it is destabilizing important Latin American allies and creating serious social problems within the United States. Frustration with the inability to block the flow of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin from Latin America prompted passage of major national anti-drug laws in 1986 and 1988. Throughout the decade, United States narcotics policy has created serious friction between the United States and Latin America yet, according to Mabry, it essentially has failed in its goals.

Nine experts on this subject deal with the major issues of United States narcotics policy and offer recommendations for future action. The history of the United States narcotics policy, the nature of the trade, the debate over the use of the United States military in interdiction efforts, the role of Congress in making policy, and the origin and implementation of narcotics policy, be it directed against a specific nation or against the entire region, are presented. Chapters authors include Mabry, Douglas Kinder, Richard Craig, Bruce Bagley, Rensselaer Lee, Raphael Perl, Samuel del Villar, José Luis Reyna, and Gregory Treverton. In addition, the book also contains a List of Tables covering: Consumption of Drugs, and Columbian Trafficker's Investment Preferences. An extensive bibliography is included designed to give other scholars and those interested in this issue an excellent start for further research.

A pioneering work in the scholarly study of contemporary Latin American drug trafficking, the book has become essential in the field and an academic best seller.



The Mexican University and the State: Student Conflict 1910-1971

Mabry, Donald J.
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
1982
ISBN: 089096128X

For decades the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has made headlines when its students demonstrated or staged strikes and when the Mexican government responded with force. Few observers, though, have recognized these events as scenes in a larger drama of university-state conflict, described for the first time in this volume.

Since the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the Mexican state has successfully gained control of virtually every major national institution, giving rise to claims that Mexico is a corporatist state that penetrates all of public life. UNAM, the nation's premier cultural and educational organ, has belied this claim by escaping the tutelage of the state. Since 1929 the university's autonomy has been maintained and expanded, principally by UNAM students.

Yet there are two great ironies in the conflict between UNAM and the national government. First, the students themselves have seldom recognized their role in determining the university's ability to limit the government's power. Contrary to popular mythology, the conflicts have arisen over many small parochial issues, usually limited to student-oriented concerns such as class attendance or examination systems.

The second, perhaps, greater, irony is that most of Mexico's political elite have received their training from UNAM--training in more than academic subjects. The student movements have given political experience and exposure to many who would later become important state or national politicians. Thus, student struggles against the state have often been struggles within the revolutionary family.

Donald Mabry has drawn upon previously untapped archives and memoirs as well as extensive bibliographical data and other sources to piece together and interpret over sixty years of student politics and their role in the university-state conflict. The result is a myth-dispelling, comprehensive analysis important not only for those interested in Mexican history but also for those concerned with student politics, with relations between the state and its institutions, and with the role of the university in society.



Mexico's Accion Nacional: A Catholic Alternative to Revolution

Mabry, Donald J.
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
1973

Concisely structured, meticulously documented, and based on unusually thorough research, here is the story of Acción Nacional, the chief opposition party of Mexico--its formation in 1939, its philosophy, growth, and contribution to the sophisticated political system in Mexico today.

That a non-governmental party has survived for over three decades is a novel event in Mexican history. That an independent opposition party has endured that long is intriguing as well, for its survival represents a major break with the Mexican political past and raises questions about the potentialities of political party activity in what is essentially a one-party system.

Of particular note is the socioeconomic, electoral, and budgetary data obtained firsthand by the author through on-the-spot informal interviews with party leaders, attendance at national conventions, and access to party documents. By penetrating into political circles and files formerly thought to be hopelessly closed to scholars, he has provided a new dimension in the examination of Mexico's political structure.

The reader not only learns about Acción Nacional, but much also about the dominant Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and about the social and political environment of Mexico. The study will enlighten the general reader, the political scientist, and the specialist in Latin American studies regarding the fluctuating relationships between Church and State, as well as the perennial struggle between the forces of revolution and those wishing to protect the status quo.

The size and importance of Latin America and the fact that its rapidly growing population and industry mark it for an increasingly important role in world affairs, will increase the pressures on its political systems. Professor Mabry's research and exposition on the current state of politics in Mexico should serve as a basis for current understanding of the intricacies of Latin American politics and provide a solid background for future exploration.

Donald J. Mabry's extensive research for this book was carried out from 1969 to 1972. He has interviewed more than 100 party leaders, including Manuel Gómez Morin, founder and former Under-secretary of Finance, party presidents, presidential candidates, youth, and women leaders. He attended three national party conventions, examined party documents (including financial records), and became well acquainted with party leaders.