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Maximilian & Juarez (Phoenix Press) Paperback – June 30, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Press
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (June 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842121502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842121504
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ridley ( Elizabeth I ) offers a highly-detailed narrative of Napoleon III's strange, tragic mid-19th-century effort to install the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian as emperor of Mexico. Drawing on a wealth of sources, Ridley ably reconstructs the battle between Mexican liberal nationalists and conservative monarchists, the role of liberal leader Benito Juarez, the intervention of the Great Powers and the background of the indecisive archduke. The complex story includes debates over religious tolerance, jockeying over alliances with the Confederate States or with the Union, and the persistence of Juarez's guerrillas against the occupying French. When Napoleon, who had banked on a Confederate victory, wished to avoid war with the United States, he began a process that led to liberal victory and Maximillian's capture and execution. Those unfamiliar with the story may find the book, which would have benefited from a supplemental time line or chronology, confusing. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This well-researched history is an unsentimental look at the French intervention in Mexico (1862-67). Ridley ( The Tudor Age , LJ 9/15/90) focuses on the political tug-of-war between the Old World and the New. He does not indulge in the romanticism that sometimes shrouds this subject; his Maximilian is much less sympathetic than the man portrayed in Joan Haslip's The Crown of Mexico ( LJ 5/1/72). Ridley emphasizes the larger political battle fought in the United States and Europe and the often brutal means by which this battle was waged by both sides in fierce and gruesome guerilla war. Maximilian's fiscal and personal failures are ably contrasted with Juarez's cool integrity, though more detail on both their lives would have helped flesh out the book. While not a definitive history of the French intervention, this is a solid, well-written popular book. Recommended for general collections.
- Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&I Univ. Lib., Kingsville
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jack Purcell on October 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Maximilian wanted to be wanted. Probably he wished it so badly he was blinded to the facts. Comparisons between the Ridley work and the earlier one are probably needless. The French invasion of Mexico in the 1860s is such an obscure piece of historical knowledge for most outside Mexico as to render the point moot. A new work every few years to remind a few readers is most likely a positive development. With each reiteration of the tale a few more Americans might have a dawn of awakening that, while North and South filled the gutters with blood inside the US boundaries the world continued to turn elsewhere.
Comprehensive histories of Mexico from 1800 to 1870 are rare. Most US citizens only know about the Texas War of Independence. Few even know about the events in the adjacent province, New Mexico, during those violent years.
The Ridley work covers a lot of ground. The details of what Napoleon III intended, why Britain became involved, and why Ferdinand Max persuaded himself Mexico needed and wanted him are generally made plain in this book. Politics in the US and the Civil War made this a saga to be watched only out of the corner of the eye while a major European power invaded a neighbor and installed an emperor. The book is also a middling introduction for the casual reader to become familiar with the first popular leader in Mexican history, Benito Juarez.
I consider it a good read and a worthy addition to my bookshelf.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on August 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ridley does a more than credible job of portraying the conflict surrounding the attempt to install a foreign emperor in Mexico. Much emphasis is placed on the internal power struggle between conservatives and liberals and the ultimate succes of the Mexican hero Benito Juarez. Many of the leaders of the times are introduced but seldom with any great depth. The title is Maximillian &Juarez and this is not a biography I suppose. Napolean III is obviously given more treatment since it was his idea to install the ill fated Maximillian. The other leaders who are involved in the story are Mexican Generals Santa Ana, Leonardo Marquez, Porfirio Diaz, Miguel Miramon, Melchor Ocampo and other foreign major role players like Marshall Achille Bazine, William Steward. United States major role players brought tot life are Generals Grant amd Sheridan and of course President Lincoln. Their are also some pages dedicated to the plan(adopt) of Maximillian to install his successor Augustin Iturbide(grandson of Emperor Iturbide) but this was not to be. Of particular interest is the international scheme and involvement of various nations in this attempt to install Maximillian. Light is shed on the United States involvement although it was preoccupied with it's own internal problems since it was during the time of the Civil War. The difference between the South's attitude is also discussed. It was also interesting to see the interaction between the foreign French society in Mexcio and the ruling class of Mexico, many marriages were conveniently arranged to preserve the strength of families. I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into a part of Mexico's past and learned some interesting facts about the players and places involved.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Remus on March 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I began Ridley's book knowing only the basic outline of the story of Napolean III's attempt to establish Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico, and when I finished I felt that I knew a great deal indeed about the subject. Best of all, Ridley piqued my interest in all sorts of ways that I didn't expect. His presentation of the politics of the day takes us back to a time when Liberal simply meant believing that all human beings have certain rights, and Conservative meant believing that all power should flow from the supreme authority of the Catholic Church and hereditary monarchs. It's not hard for most moderns to make a choice in that conflict, although many still have the infuriating tendency to romanticize "nobles" of Maximilian and Carlota's ilk. Ridley doesn't glamorize any of the players (inlcuding the crafty Juarez), but he does tend to humanize even the worst of them and he shows that both sides engaged in one atrocity after another. He also shows the global politics involved in the French attempt to establish a monarch in Mexico, and especially the reaction of the United States, which was facing its own crisis with the Civil War. All in all, a fascinating story, extremely well told.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Stines on March 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I started doing some basic reading about Juarez prior to writing a newspaper article about Cinco de Mayo. A number of sources recommended this book, so I found a copy and dug into it. Ridley doesn't "whitewash" any of the main figures, nor is it a hatchet job. I'd certainly gained more respect for Benito after reading Ridley's book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book very similar in material to Gene Smith's earlier book Maximilian and Carlotta. I think Ridley followed
the same context as Smith, and threw in a little more material on
Juarez. So, if you have read one of these books, don't read the other.
Overall, it presents the conflict between the Conservatives and
Liberals and Maximilian and Juarez correctly. It poses Maximilian as heroic and wrong headed while Juarez is portrayed as stubborn and single minded. Both needed more analization to portray them correctly. The book was very readable.
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