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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former library copy that saw very light use. In excellent condition with no highlighting, underlining or notes in text. May have library stickers and markings on cover, end pages, spine and/or fore edge.
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Santa Anna of Mexico Hardcover – December 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,131,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Will Fowler says in his preface that the modern view of Santa Anna is not a realistic one. Though I confess my knowledge of the man is limited, I always thought him to be a ruthless general, a corrupt politician, and an unforgiving womanizer. This biography only serves to confirm that image. Santa Anna was all those things, in addition to being handsome, intelligent, charismatic, ambitious, and brave. In modern-day Mexico, however, Santa Anna is also seen as a traitor who gave away Texas and lost the Mexican War on purpose to gain a bribe. This is the part of Santa Anna's life that Fowler says is not realistic. Santa Anna, he says, was "a good Mexican." He was not a traitor, but "tried to prosper personally and help his country develop at a time of severe and repeated crises . . ." He is not seen by Mexicans today as a great hero or leader. There are no statues of him or avenues that carry his name. This may be because he did seem to put his personal prosperity before his country. But, fair or not, we also tend not to idolize losers no matter how noble their intentions or how overwhelming the odds against them.

This biography does paint a clear, honest portrait of Santa Anna. But I found the writing to be dense and had to force myself to slog through it. I was also disappointed that very little time was spent on the battles at the Alamo and San Jacinto. Davey Crockett is not even mentioned! Though Fowler does touch upon Santa Anna's strategy at the Alamo, and he also faults him for the defeat at San Jacinto--and thus the loss of Texas--I wanted more.

This is not a book I'd recommend.
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