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Santa Anna of Mexico Hardcover – December 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 527 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; 1St Edition edition (December 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803211201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803211209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,613,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Drawing on archives in Mexico, Spain, Britain, and Texas as well as published sources, Fowler supplies a much-needed corrective to existing impressions of Santa Anna with this balanced and well-written work."—Library Journal
(Stephen H. Peters Library Journal 2007-11-15)

"Building on recent historiography, this is a breakthrough study of Santa Anna."—S. F. Voss, Choice
(S. F. Voss Choice 2008-11-01)

“Superb. . . . Fowler has produced an elegantly-written and engaging study about one of Mexico’s most notorious and misunderstood leaders. His evenhanded assessment of Santa Anna as more than just a power-hungry, opportunistic, and corrupt politician makes this biography a most welcome and valuable addition to Mexican historiography.”—Journal of Military History
(Journal of Military History 2008-01-30)

"[Santa Anna of Mexico] is carefully documented and well-written. Historians of Mexico on both sides of the border should read this excellent effort."—Joseph A. Stout, Jr., Journal of Arizona History
(Joseph A. Stout, Jr. Journal of Arizona History)

"This reevalution of Antonio López de Santa Anna is long overdue given the sophistication of our understanding of Mexico's turbulent decades following independence in 1810. . . .This biography will become obligatory text for students of the period that will also hold the attention of the casual reader."—Michael Ducey, A Contracorriente
(Michael Ducey A Contracorriente)

"Fowler has written an unsurpassed biography of one of Mexico's most famous leaders. Everyone with an interest in Mexican history should read it."—Donald F. Stevens, Journal of Latin American Studies
(Donald F. Stevens Journal of Latin American Studies)

About the Author

Will Fowler is a professor of Latin American studies at the University of St. Andrews. His books include Mexico in the Age of Proposals, 1821–1853, Tornel and Santa Anna: The Writer and the Caudillo, Mexico, 1795–1853, and Latin America, 1800–2000.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By tejasjj on February 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At long last, a dispassionate, balanced biography of Antonio López de Santa Anna is available that is informed by the last thirty years of historiographical advances in nineteenth century Mexican history. Santa Anna of Mexico, written by Will Fowler, one of the leading Anglophone interpreters of nineteenth century Mexico, provides the reader with a new perspective that chips away at the barnacles of the Black Legend that for over 150 years have encrusted the "leader all Mexicans (and Texans) love to hate."

Faced with internal division as a result of provinces not yet fully integrated and external adversaries that lusted after territory and markets, Mexico's journey toward forging nation would be prolonged, painful and problematic. In Fowler's hands, Santa Anna emerges as a man of his time when Mexico was making this painful journey of trying to define herself as a nation and create a hegemonic state that could govern and at the same time defend its territorial integrity. Consequently, it was a time of experimentation or as Fowler states a time for varying proposals. During this "Age of Proposals", (for a detailed look at this era, see Fowler's Mexico in the Age of Proposals) Santa Anna was one of many struggling to find ways of assimilating heterogeneous cultures and integrating legitimate claims from Mexico's far-flung provinces under a suitable governing framework before they could construct a hegemonic state, construct (imagine) a unified social identity and truly forge a nation-state.

According to Fowler, Santa Anna was "not the power-crazed megalomaniac his critics made him out to be" and did not aspire to having absolute power.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roy K. Farber on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have meant to set down my thoughts of this scholarly work since it was first published and I'd the pleasure of its reading, but somehow time and opportunity slipped by. And yet, after studying the history of Mexico and Nuevo Mexico for these past 15 years or so, attempting to comprehend US History from the vantage of south heading north, this volume stands out, distinct and unforgotten from the rest, and most deserving of high praise.

For a Gringo attempting to comprehend Mexican history, of what became of our one-half and the resulting remainder, Santa Anna is the preeminent figure, and yet slandered, misunderstood, relegated to backwaters and blamed for all vanished glory. Mr. Fowler portrays him as the man of his times, an opportunist, great and tragic at once, and explains his life and times role in a manner that no other author I've read has achieved. Other figures who move out and in through Mexico's transmogrifying soul play their oft-changing roles, too, and IT, the history of that great nation, at last made sense. And through Mr. Fowler's study, which is more of a novel in holding one's interest, but pure history at its finest, ends with Santa Anna's death on the year of the US Centennial, one comes to comprehend what has occurred since with our Neighbor to the South.
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Format: Paperback
This is the perfect resource covering the life and times of Santa Anna of Mexico.

The true Santa Anna has been lost due to a shroud of misinformation and outright propaganda espoused by his enemies and those people who could not understand the intricacies of his decisions. Santa Anna was a man who often times faced impossible circumstances, and was forced to make decisions based upon subjective and conditional information with grave consequences to his public persona. His failures are not emphasized, nor are his achievements, but merely painted in context here as they should be.

All I can say is thanks to Fowler for this book, the shroud of lies has been lifted on Santa Anna, and an objective eye can finally be brought to bear on this topic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Walter A. Theis on August 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was about as good a read as one can have which describe a man and how he fit into the problems of Mexico. There is nothing complicated about Santa Anna, he is smooth, treacherous, brutal and a total elite along with his supporters and pays lip service only to the average Mexican. It is almost like reading what happened to the Roman Republic as it transitioned into an empire under Caesar and then Octavian. Mexico was chaotic then and it gives one a look at the intrigue that still seems to affect Mexican politics and problems today. Of course, I seriously doubt that a person who was not born in Mexico and lived their can ever really understand Mexican politics but the life of Santa Anna indicate how two elite classes in Mexico have dominated its policies for years. Sadly, it also shows what happens when elites control a country rather than offering opportunity to everyone which an elite cannot afford to do. Perhaps a lesson for the United States with the growing elitism it this country.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rich Marsh on May 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This author tries very hard to avoid the normal extremes when dealing with Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Most writers either hate him or love him. To understand him, one has to understand his world.

I learned more about the history of Mexico from this book, than I ever did in any case or other reference. Between 1810 and 1876, Mexico experimented with nearly every form of government possible, except for two - they didn't try an Absolute Democracy nor did they try a True Anarchy. Nearly all the various experiments were ended by military coups. There was even a protocol for how to declare a coup! One basic problem was that Mexico did not see itself as a national entity, and as a result local solutions were tried nationally.

The author argues that Santa Anna was a rather unusual person in the swirling mess that was Mexican politics. He both tried to be above political matters and debates, while also inserting himself as an arbitrator as often as he was able. He seemed to greatly prefer the military life to actually governing, although his ethics were those of his peers - he always looked out for his interests first. Still, he was a national figure and according to Fowler, sincere in his efforts to try of help Mexico - even if Mexico couldn't figure out how to help itself.
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