This essay, first published in 1996, has a complex life history that is recorded in the acknowledgments. It is the product of many revisions-almost weekly at one pointthat seemed to make it a story without end; which, of course, is what it was and is. This is the way life happens. I conceived of this piece in the spirit of journalism-fast report­ ing of unexpected current events with responsible background information. Neither politicians, nor the Mexican Army, nor journalists, nor scholars (including myself) had a clue that the events of January t, 1994, were imminent. Yet I felt compelled to respond. What might I contribute to the interpretation of this unusual tale?