Writing Pancho Villa's Revolution
Rebels in the Literary Imagination of Mexico
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Texas Press
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On March 6, 1913, Francisco Villa and eight followers crossed the border into Mexico from El Paso, Texas, with the aim of overthrowing the dictatorship of Gen. Victoriano Huerta. They had nine rifles and nine horses, “500 cartridges per man, two pounds of coffee, two pounds of sugar, one pound of salt.”1 By the end of that year, Villa’s forces had swelled to...
Chapter 1. The Politics of Incorporation: The Calles Era, 1925 –1935
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The Calles era, the years when Gen. Plutarco El�as Calles ruled Mexico, first as president, from late 1924 to 1928, and then as the behind-the-scenes de facto ruler of Mexico between 1929 and 1935, was a period of transition and turmoil. The general faced the formidable task of rebuilding a country devastated and divided by war, and this became the single...
Chapter 2. Villa and Popular Political Subjectivity in Mariano Azuela’s Los de abajo
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In October 1914, physician and novelist Mariano Azuela joined the troops of Villista general Julián Medina in Guadalajara with the rank of colonel. “I then satisfied one of my greatest longings,” he wrote many years later, “to live together with the genuine revolutionaries, the underdogs, since until then my observations had been limited to the tedious world...
Chapter 3. Reconstructing Subaltern Perspectives in Nellie Campobello’s Cartucho
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Few towns during the revolution saw events as bloody as those that occurred in Hidalgo del Parral, a mining center in the state of Chihuahua that was one of the gravitational centers of Villismo. In the course of ten years, Parral suffered the violence of being taken no fewer than twelve times by contending revolutionary forces.1 Its inhabitants lived...
Chapter 4. Villismo and Intellectual Authority in Martín Luis Guzmán’s El águila y la serpiente
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Martín Luis Guzmán’s Iconografía, a book of photographs published in 1987, reveals a certain attachment to Mexico’s presidents, perhaps like no other intellectual of his generation, or since.1 To be sure, his journalistic work and political career, his literary prestige, and the fact that he lived a long life may reasonably explain the inordinate number of photographs...
Chapter 5. Soldierly Honor and Mexicanness in Rafael F. Muñoz’s ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa!
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In 1930, the literacy rate in Mexico was 34.4 percent, up from 23.1 percent in 1910.1 The increase was largely due to the expansion of public education and the literacy campaigns launched in 1921 by Jos� Vasconcelos, then head of the Ministry of Education. The benefits were concentrated in urban centers like Mexico City, which had the highest literacy rate in...
Chapter 6. The Battle for Pancho Villa During Cardenismo, 1935 –1940
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The Cardenista period (1935–1940) brought new life into the debate over the uncertain status of revolutionary hero Pancho Villa and his movement in the nation’s memory. The regime’s reorientation in political matters created a space in public discourse for the reevaluation of Villa’s role in the revolution and his historical legacy. It did not overturn the...
Chapter 7. Villismo’s Legacy
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By the end of the Cárdenas presidency, in late 1940, Gen. Francisco Villa had yet to be included in the pantheon of official heroes of the Mexican Revolution, despite the president’s reconciliation and inclusion policy. Villa’s political and military enemies who were active in the revolutionary government, particularly in northern Mexico, apparently obstructed his...
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Page Count: 197
Publication Year: 2005