Insurgent Marcos

The Political-Philosophical Formation of the Zapatista Subcommander

By Nick Henck

Insurgent Marcos

Approx. 314 pp., 6 x 9, notes

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-9452-3403-3
    Published: January 2017

Buy this Book

This title is not eligible for UNC Press promotional pricing.

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit

Distributed for Editorial A Contracorriente

For over two decades now Subcommander Marcos has acted as military leader and spokesperson of Mexico’s Zapatista movement. In the process of doing so he has also become a key figure in the anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements. There has been little attempt however to examine in significant detail the political-philosophical influences at work upon this important contemporary thinker. The present study aims to rectify this by establishing which political-philosophical currents Marcos was exposed to during his formative years as a student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and then examining the Subcommander’s discourse in order to ascertain the extent to which these persisted in his thinking years later. Concretely, what we discover is that in his youth Marcos was especially influenced by his reading of Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, and Nicos Poulantzas, and that certain core components of their thinking helped to form, and indeed continued to inform, the Subcommander’s political philosophy.

About the Author

Nick Henck is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at Keio University (Tokyo, Japan). In 2007 he published an English-language biography of Subcomandante Marcos entitled Subcommander Marcos: The Man and the Mask (Duke University Press). In the years since, he has published five journal articles and one “note”, as well as an encyclopedia entry, all focusing on the Subcommander.
For more information about Nick Henck, visit the Author Page.


"This book is an outstanding success in weaving together strands of literary theory, political practice, and political theory in delivering a window on the political-philosophical formation of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. In its detailed scope and depth of coverage it is an essential read on the making of Marcos and the politics of Zapatismo."--Adam David Morton (University of Sydney), author of Revolution and State in Modern Mexico