Synopses & Reviews
Mariano Azuela, the first of the novelists of the Revolution, was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico, in 1873. He studied medicine in Guadalajara and returned to Lagos in 1909, where he began the practice of his profession. He began his writing career early; in 1896 he published Impressions of a Student in a weekly of Mexico City. This was followed by numerous sketches and short stories, and in 1911 by his first novel, Andres Perez, maderista. Like most of the young Liberals, he supported Francisco I. Madero's uprising, which overthrew the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, and in 1911 was made Director of Education of the State of Jalisco. After Madero's assassination, he joined the army of Pancho Villa as doctor, and his knowledge of the Revolution was acquired at firsthand. When the counterrevolutio-nary forces of Victoriano Huerta were temporarily triumphant, he emigrated to El Paso, Texas, where in 1915 he wrote The Underdogs (Los de abajo), which did not receive general recognition until 1924, when it was hailed as the novel of the Revolution.
Azuela . . . marries a natural gift for fiction to his eyewitness analysis. Events come quickly, and the dialogueexpertly and sometimes thrillingly rendered by translator Waismanwhips us along.
Los Angeles Times
The Underdogs stands for the Mexican Revolution as The Red Badge of Courage stands for the American Civil War.
The New York Sun
Almost a century after its first publication, Mariano Azuelas The Underdogs is as timely a documentary of war as ever. Darfur, Sarajevo, Baghdad, or Bogota; this is not only a novel of the Mexican Revolution, but also of our own contemporary madness, and Sergio Waismans translation captures its full force and fervor.
Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street
A classic novel of the Mexican Revolution, The Underdogs is a work not only of unquestionable artistic value, but also of courage, sensitivity, and dedication by a writer of great literary and historical significance.
President Vicente Fox
Azuela, more than any other novelist of the Mexican Revolution, lifts the heavy stone of history to see what there is underneath it.
Carlos Fuentes, from the Foreword
An essential book for Mexico, about the first revolution of the twentieth century. Mariano Azuelas pen is a warm gun, and Sergio Waismans translation, introduction, and notes are as vivid, well aimed, and sharp as the gunshots in the battle.
A lively translation of a Latin American classic that takes us into Mexicos violent and spirited first days.
Julio Ortega, Brown University
The Underdogs is one of the most original attempts at inventing a revolutionary style to narrate the upheaval unleashed by the Mexican Revolution. Sergio Waismans brilliant translation replicates the rapid-fire intensity of Mariano Azuelas Spanish prose. Required reading for anyone interested in twentieth- century history.
Ruben Gallo, Princeton University
Sergio Waismans lively new translation of this fast-paced novel skillfully captures the different dialects peasant and lumpenand the political rhetoric at the heart of the Mexican Revolution.
Jean Franco, Columbia University
The greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, in a brilliant new translation by an award-winning translator
The Underdogs is the first great novel about the first great revolution of the twentieth century. Demetrio Macias, a poor, illiterate Indian, must join the rebels to save his family. Courageous and charismatic, he earns a generalship in Pancho Villa?s army, only to become discouraged with the cause after it becomes hopelessly factionalized. At once a spare, moving depiction of the limits of political idealism, an authentic representation of Mexico?s peasant life, and a timeless portrait of revolution, The Underdogs is an iconic novel of the Latin American experience and a powerful novel about the disillusionment of war.
The military cult classic with resonance to the wars in Iraq and Vietnamnow back in print
When The Centurions was first published in 1960, readers were riveted by the thrilling account of soldiers fighting for survival in hostile environments. They were equally transfixed by the chilling moral question the novel posed: how to fight when the age of heroics is over.” As relevant today as it was half a century ago, The Centurions is a gripping military adventure, an extended symposium on waging war in a new global order, and an essential investigation of the ethics of counterinsurgency. Featuring a foreword by renowned military expert Robert D. Kaplan, this important wartime novel will again spark debate about controversial tactics in hot spots around the world.
About the Author
JEAN LARTÉGUY (1920-2011) isALEXANDER (XAN) WALLACE FIELDING (1918-1991) served as a Special Operations Executive in the British Army in Crete, France, and the Far East. The author of several books, he also translated French works including Pierre Boulle's The Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes.ROBERT D. KAPLAN is the author of many acclaimed books on the military, foreign affairs, and travel, including Balkan Ghosts, The Revenge of Geography, and Imperial Grunts.