Kenneth F. Johnson (right) with
Oscar Monroy Rivera, Mexican
writer and activist, 1974.
The Johnson-Bezdek Collection on Opposition Politics in Twentieth-Century Mexico contains over two hundred separate titles and/or entries. The collection, consisting of published and unpublished materials, was assembled by Kenneth F. Johnson (1933-2003), Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, with the collaboration of Robert R. Bezdek, Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kenneth F. Johnson received a B.A. in English and political science at the Municipal University of Omaha in 1957, a M.A. in political science at San Diego State College in 1960, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1963. Professor Johnson served as chairman of the Latin American Studies Program at the University of Southern California, 1965-1970. He was professor of political science at the University of Missouri-St Louis, 1970-1990, and thereafter was granted the title Professor Emeritus. Dr. Johnson contributed significantly to a number of national and international publications. These include the Latin American series published by the London Institute for the Study of Conflict LTD, the UCLA Statistical Abstract of Latin America, The Latin American Research Review, the American Political Science Review, The Western Political Quarterly, and others. He was perhaps best known for his three edition book Mexican Democracy: A Critical View.
The Johnson-Bezdek Collection contains Johnson's complete publications on Mexico, as well as books, periodicals, articles, posters, typescript interviews, manuscript notes, correspondence, and other materials which he accumulated between 1962 and 1986 while doing field work in Mexico on opposition to and political alienation toward the single-party system. The collection not only includes publications that Johnson purchased, but also clandestine interviews, files, and published items given to him by Mexican opposition political figures, scholars, and journalists. The collection also includes materials dealing with clandestine Mexican emigration to the United States.
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