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The U.S.-Mexican War: A Binational Reader

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ISBN-13: 978-1603842211
ISBN-10: 1603842217
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Conway's judicious selection of primary sources--some fundamental, others lesser-known--affords readers valuable insight into a conflict that does not hold a prominent place in the United States' collective imagination. Especially note­worthy are Conway's efforts to fully portray the Mexican experience in the war through an examination of military operations, political affairs, daily life, gender, and popular culture. --Pedro Santoni, California State University, San Bernardino



What makes this edited collection truly distinctive is the large amount of material from the Mexican side. . . . There is really nothing like it available. . . . Pellón has done a beautiful job of translating the numerous Spanish-language excerpts that editor Conway has selected, and as a result this is the first reader on this topic to really articulate the complexity of the Mexican side of the conflict. The Introduction, chronology, and explanatory headnotes and footnotes throughout are all very clear and helpful. --Shelley Streeby, University of California, San Diego



Christopher Conway's excellent primary documents reader provides scholars and teachers interested in telling a transnational story of American imperialism and westward expansion with an invaluable collection of sources to tell that story. Conway delves deeply into Mexican sources, not to provide balance, but rather to reorient our perspective and understanding of the events in the nineteenth century that continue to shape the region. He uses the documents to expand the context of the war by taking an expansive view of the period he draws from and the types of documents used. Conway provides a concise overview of the events and politics leading up to the war, during the war, and its aftermath. This narrative and the subsequent documents follow along with the recent move established by historians to include the events in Texas as part of the war and American westward conquest. . . . All the Spanish language documents are presented in English thanks to Gustavo Pellon's excellent translations. The reader's strength comes from choosing both Mexican and American documents that paint a complex narrative of the diplomatic and political impact of the war in Texas and Mexico. The last sections of the reader begin to trace the broad impact of the war and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Conway chose documents highlighting the increased violence experienced by Mexican people on the American side after the treaty. These sorts of documents can also be useful in the context of understanding the formation of Mexican American identity. A section on culture and literature adds yet another dimension to our views of the war period by including poetry, songs, and other fiction from both nations. Overall, this is a handy resource for those teaching courses in American, Mexican, Texas, and Chicano/a history. --Raul Ramos, University of Houston, in Southwestern Historical Quarterly

About the Author

Christopher Conway is Associate Professor of Spanish, The University of Texas at Arlington.

Gustavo Pellon is Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603842217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603842211
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,116,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randall Ham on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a good selection of material regarding a important, though often forgotten conflict that deprived Mexico of half her territory while adding to that of the United States by one-third, and helping to bring on the American Civil War. The editors include a good selection of material, covering political debates, proclamations, accounts of battles, and literary works showing how the war was regarded by various people in both nations. My one major caveat is the perfunctory treatment given Alta California which was, after all, the most valuable prize seized by the U.S. The editors include only two documents in the California section, proclamations by the self-styled Bear Flag Republicans, and by U.S. Commodore Robert Stockton. Despite the rich collection of autobiographical "Testimonios" collected by historian H. H. H. Bancroft from the leading Hispanic Californios, (a number of which have been published) the editors include no Mexican account of the war in California. I also take issue with the editors' claim that Californio resistance was "ineffectual". In fact the Californios were far more effectual than General Santa Anna. Unlike the "Napoleon of the West", who lost every battle in this war, the Californios inflicted several defeats on the invading gringos, driving them out of most of Southern California, and defeating General Kearny's Army of the West at the Battle of San Pasqual.
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