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Emiliano Zapata: Revolution & Betrayal in Mexico Hardcover – September, 1995

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of New Mexico Pr; 1st edition (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826316190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826316196
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,806,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this scholarly study of Zapata, journalist and scholar Brunk emphasizes aspects of personal leadership over the revolutionary movement as a whole. Brunk portrays a man whose legendary status has helped obscure the facts. From the formative years until his death by ambush in 1919, Zapata is depicted as a man unwaveringly committed to basic land reform and social justice for the peasants of his native state of Morelos. Zapata is not, however, idealized: his inability (or refusal) to control the brutal excesses of subordinate chieftains often resulted in bad press at home and abroad, much to the detriment of his credibility. Likewise, coalitions formed with other major revolutionary leaders (notably Pancho Villa)? essential to any hope of success?were always tenuous and fraught with potential treachery, given the vast array of personal and ideological elements in play. A well-documented, readable work; recommended for serious students of the topic.?Charles E. Perry, East Central Univ., Ada, Okla.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Samuel Brunk is to be applauded . . . [his] style and scholarship are unimpeachable, confirming . . . a solid, well-researched, narrative history . . . --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Salamis on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Emiliano Zapata is a legendary and controversial figure in Mexican history. One of the many persons who have been intrigued by Zapata's mythical persona has been Samuel Brunk. Brunk first conducted his comprehensive research on Zapata while he was a graduate student at the University of New Mexico. Brunk's current research deals with certain aspects of Zapata not covered in this book, mainly with the accuracy of the cultural and political myth ascribed to Zapata since his death. Brunk currently teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso. His area of expertise is twentieth century Mexican history.
Brunk states that "the primary goal of the book is to provide a . . . political biography of Zapata, and to demonstrate . . . That his choices and actions . . . [had] a historical impact." Brunk portrays Zapata as a man with utopian ideals who is plagued by personal faults. He contends that Zapata, or more precisely, Zapatisimo had, and has had, an enduring effect on th Mexican conscience and psyche. His work, over a third of which is composed of notes and references, is well researched. Brunk utilizes oral interviews, anthropological data, and newspaper and archival documents (many of which had been recently released) to develop his thesis.
Although Brunk does a wonderful job in compiling information to narrate his thesis, there are a few aspects to the book that are disappointing. For instance, the back of the book and the introduction claim that Brunk's depicture of Zapatisimo humanizes the Zapatisimo legacy by recanting the brutality and banditry that surrounded the movement.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dennis R. Hidalgo on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book centers on how the personal life of Emiliano Zapata intermingled with his revolutionary movement during the high point of the Mexican Revolution: 1910-1919. The events and historical period the book covers are hardly new to scholarly review. In his book Brunk is standing on ground elevated by previous work- particularly by John Womack's Zapata and the Mexican Revolution. Still, from this advantageous position Brunk decided to focus his attention on the personal details of Zapata and give us a fresh political biography.
This book sadly misses the opportunity to examine the cultural dimension of Zapata's life and achievements. Starting with his beginning, Brunk totally ignores the religious attribute intrinsic in the culture of south/central Mexico - which he later admits it had. Indeed, he only mentions the word church when referring to how a village offered a strategic position from the tower of the church. When referring to the machismo culture and Zapata's relationships with females, he could have linked gender issues to Zapata's revolution. When he touched on the regionalist tendencies of Zapatismo, he could have compared one region against the other in greater details as to illuminate why regionalism was such a strong force. There were several questions that their answers could have enriched his research. How did religion influence the motivation of Zapatistas? What was the reaction of local priest and other members of the clergy, to Zapata's actions, and what type of relationship they had? What role did women play in Zapata's movement? How did the fatalism of machismo influence the outcome of the events? If the Guerreros were not as motivated for land reform as the Morelos were, what other motivations led them to follow Zapata?
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
You may need a glossary for this book if you're not familiar with such terms as ejido or hacendado. I highly reccomend doing some preparation reading on the mexican revolution before starting this book. Be advised, a third of this book is notes and references! The author does a good job of showing how Zapata remained committed to his cause while many around him were traitors. The author provides factual accounts with little embelishing or unsupported speculation. This book is a must-have for those who are interested in the real Zapata.
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