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Zapata Paperback – May 1, 1993
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From Library Journal
- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Any previously unpublished work of John Steinbeck is a welcome gift to American letters." --Budd Schulberg, as cited in Zapata
John Steinbeck's Zapata is a little known but well-crafted narrative about one of Mexico's legendary heroes of the Mexican Revolution. The story--which the author later turned into the critically acclaimed screenplay Viva Zapata! --tells of Emiliano Zapata's courageous efforts to halt political oppression. Known affectionately in his native southern state of Morelos as "the Little Tiger," Zapata took up the cause of downtrodden peasants when reform laws were totally flouted by the Establishment. The Diaz regime had virtually turned Mexico into a police state as the peasants grew hungrier and hungrier. Nearly single-handedly Zapata succeeded in empowering his fellow countrymen. At length he was able to instigate a formidable armed rebellion.
As portrayed by Steinbeck, Emiliano Zapata was a young and promising leader. He could neither read nor write, but he possessed an intuitive sense of justice and fair play. Often misguided--even deceived by his own--and eventually betrayed, Zapata pushed relentlessly for social and agrarian reform. In the Camus tradition he was a true rebel fighting for human rights, never showing interest in acquiring power for its own sake.
Initially Zapata joined forces with Venustiano Carranza and Pancho Villa to overthrow president/dictator Porfirio Diaz. But as soon as Carranza became president, he too turned into a power-hungry elitist.
Carranza's administration under a new Constitution quickly became counterproductive.Read more ›
In addition to these two plays, preceding them is a word picture that Steinbeck drew to describe to the movie's eventual director and producer Steinbeck's own vision and intention for the film.
While having the actual mechanics of a screenplay laid out before one's eyes is interesting to one who hasn't seen the like, this would be true regardless of the underlying story. It just happens in this case to be Zapata, which happens to be the only screenplay Mr. Steinbeck wrote entirely by himself.
As to this book, we are essentially presented with three versions of the same story That this is a bit repetitive is obvious and, frankly, my advice is to read the first two treatments and then go watch the movie.
For those of you expecting more of a story about Zapata (or even a biography), based upon the numerous rather puzzling reviews here indicating this is the case, you will disappointed. For, this is a story about a film script, or screenplay, the subject of which is Emiliano Zapata. It does not pretend to be either a history or a biography: It is an adventure story with political/socio-economic overtones, that roughly hews to historical events and figures.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most complete book on a true Mexican leader. Those who worked the land deserved their right to own their share. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Fred Hernandez
I've always enjoyed reading about Mexico and it's turbulent history. This is a book I would recommend to people that are like minded.Published 23 months ago by Mario Garcia, Jr.
I liked Steinbeck's notes for action and actors. Zapata became a real person in his film version. I suggest his movie should be made.Published on April 27, 2014 by lucy norman spencer
I reallly appreciated that Steinbeck went to Mexico to interview those still alive from the revolution and got real stories from real people. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Talantia
This was an interesting read. A good part of it is the screenplay itself, but that was indicated in the description so there were no surprises in that respect. Read morePublished on May 18, 2012 by John H.
This book contains two screenplays. One is a screenplay that John Steinbeck worked on for 20 years on the revolutionary career of Emiliano Zapata. Read morePublished on September 28, 2009 by C. Collins
Zapata contains two versions of a screenplay which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1952. In both versions the main character is the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who... Read morePublished on June 29, 2008 by Jamie Elliott