Synopses & Reviews
Ten years after its publication in a small El Paso paper, The Underdogs achieved worldwide renown as the greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution. It tells the story of Demetrio Macías, a modest, peace-loving Indian, who is forced to side with the rebels to save his family. In the course of battle, he becomes a compulsive militarist almost despite himself, and his courage leads to a generalship in Pancho Villas army. But as the rebels suffer defeat after defeat, Macías loses prestige and moral purpose at the hands of turncoats, camp followers, and the peasants who once loved him. The social conscience and bitter irony of Azuelas classic novel have earned him comparisons to Chekhov and Gorky. As Mexico continues to celebrate and struggle with the consequences of its great revolution, The Underdogs remains a powerful and insightful portrait of social upheaval.
Translated by E. Munguia Jr.
With an Introduction by Ana Castillo
and an Afterword by Max Parra
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 Villaas 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 Mexicoas 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.
Considered the greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, "The Underdogs" tells the story of a modest, peace-loving Indian forced to side with rebels to save his family, only to become a compulsive militarist. Includes a new Afterword. Revised reissue.
The greatest novel of the mexican revolution
This story of a modest, peace-loving Indian, forced to side with rebels to save his family?only to become a compulsive militarist?has been compared to the works of Chekhov and Gorky as a powerful and insightful portrait of social upheaval.
About the Author
Mariano Azuela (1873-1952) became both a practicing physician and a writer, publishing his first novel, Andrés Pérez, maderista, in 1911. He supported Francisco I. Maderos uprising against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and was made Director of Education of the State of Jalisco. After Maderos assassination, he joined the army of Pancho Villa as a doctor. When counterrevolutionary forces temporarily gained control of Mexico, Azuela emigrated to El Paso, Texas, where in 1915 he wrote Los de abajo (The Underdogs). With this novel, Azuela became the first Mexican writer to give form to the reality of the Revolution. However, his disappointment with the corruption that followed soon began to manifest itself, as in the savage sarcasm of his later novels (Las moscas, La luciérnaga, El camarada Pantoja). After withdrawing from public life, Azuela lived in Mexico City, writing and working as a doctor among the poor. He is buried in Mexicos equivalent of Westminster Abbey, the Rotonda de Hombres Ilustres.
Ana Castillo is the author of several novels, including Peel My Love like an Onion and the American Book Award Winner The Mixquiahuala Letters, as well as non-fiction and poetry. She holds the Sor Juana de la Cruz chair at DePaul University.
Max Parra teaches Latin American literature at the University of California, San Diego. His scholarly work focuses on the literature, photography, and history of the Mexican Revolution. He is the author of Writing Pancho Villas Revolution: Rebels in the Literary Imagination of Mexico.