- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: University of Texas Press; New Edition edition (January 1, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0292790244
- ISBN-13: 978-0292790247
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wind that Swept Mexico: The History of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1942 New Edition Edition
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". . . here is the history of the revolution in 184 of the best photographs of the time. The whole disintegration and painful reintegration of a society is marvellously set before the eyes . . ." (Times Literary Supplement)
". . . a classic and sympathetic statement of the first of the great twentieth century revolutions--its words and pictures command our attention and our respect." (Military History)
"Only 100 pages of text and 184 historical news photographs, yet this is the Mexican Revolution in its drama, its complexity, its incompleteness! One could not have seen it more closely and fully had one taken part in it . . ." (Bertram D. Wolfe)
From the Back Cover
The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 with the overthrow of dictator Porfirio Diaz. The Wind That Swept Mexico, originally published in 1943, was the first book to present a broad account of that revolution in its several different phases. In concise but moving words and in memorable photographs, this classic sweeps the reader along from the false peace and plenty of the Diaz era through the doomed administration of Madero, the chaotic years of Villa and Zapata, Carranza and Obregon, to the peaceful social revolution of Cardenas and Mexico's entry into World War II.
Top customer reviews
One reason to commend the book is the text, which is one of the most distinctive historical narratives I have encountered. In whirlwind fashion Anita Brenner covers thirty-plus years of Mexican history in about one hundred pages. Her account is short on historical detail and analysis, and it certainly is opinionated, but it is so spirited, and the prose so scintillating, that it is a pleasure to read. Plus, the reader can't help but gain at least some historical impressions that I am confident are valid.
Here is Brenner on the mad and crazy years of 1912 to 1914, when numerous armies under assorted warlords crisscrossed Mexico along the railroad lines that were the venues for the major battles: "When these armies moved it was like a mass migration. They carried families, three layers deep: some inside the boxcars, some on top, and others, mostly the boys and young men, in hammocks slung between the wheels. Tortillas were ground and baked on fires in oil cans along the whole top of the train, and dogs and babies accommodated themselves in the warmest corners inside. The age span for soldiering was from about seven to seventy. * * * The women, though their job was foraging, cooking, and looking after the wounded, pitched in and fought if they felt like it. If a woman's husband was killed, she could either attach herself to some other man or take over his uniform and gun herself."
And here is Brenner on the three alternatives for economic organization that vied for ascendancy in Mexico during the period covered by the book. "There are three doctrines: complete socialization, middle ground through co-operatives, and capitalist organization. The cycle of official doctrine goes from the first to the third, depending on which set of pressures--those from Washington or those exerted by the unappeased eighty per cent [of the Mexican masses]--is most immediately ominous. Politicians shift to meet each pressure, and when the pressure becomes a danger, administrations shift--or appear to. There is a recurring pattern, often marked at the shifting point with explosive violence. Administrations with strong left-wing direction give way to 'pacifiers,' and these in turn usher in business booms, appease foreign capital, and are then, as a rule, ousted by threatened revolt."
The second notable feature about the book is its photographs: 184 photographs, most of which were taken by photographers for various newspapers. There are photographs of all the major players, of the grand life of the few rich and the squalor of the many poor, of snipers, and of corpses. They are of equal value with the text in communicating a sense of this second Mexican Revolution.
I can't recommend THE WIND THAT SWEPT MEXICO as one's foundation text for this period of Mexican history. But I am certain that after reading a more conventional history, the book would greatly enhance one's basic understanding.
It made me change my mind about who were the true Mexican heroes and who were the bandits.
The presentation also showed and explained the relationship between Mexico, the U.S., and the border states. It was interesting to learn that during WWI, Mexico almost sided with Germany who promised to help them get back the States of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas!
There's a scene and story about a skirmish near Arizona which brought me to present day and the attitudes of the people of Arizona towards Mexico. Some attitudes won't change, even in 100 years.
Excellent DVD if you want to learn about old time bandidos, emigration, immigration, exodus, political intervention and corruption (on BOTH sides of the border), integrity, bravery, honor, and culture.
Anita Brenner is best known for the articles she wrote during the Spanish Civil War for the New York Times and The Nation. The first 106 pages of the book are her account of the causes of the Mexican Revolution and the struggle that continued for the next thirty. Brenner wrote well but our understanding of the Mexican Revolution is very different today than it was in 1943 when the book was first published. If you are looking for a history of the Mexican Revolution, there are better books that been published in the last twenty years.
What makes this book are the photos. During the chaos of the Revolution, daring news photographers could travel the country at their own risk taking photos of whatever pleased them. There were no press limits. Everything was fair game. George Leighton with the assistance of Anita Brenner and the great photographer Walker Evans put together a collection of some of the most compelling news photographs of the era. The Mexican Revolution was a dramatic event and the photos they assembled are equal to the times.
We are approaching the hundreth anniversary of the Mexican Revolution and I hope someone will put together a new photo collection. One can only hope that a new edition of the "Historia Grafica de la Revolucion Mexicana" by Gustavo Casasola will be republished. Published in 1976, "Historia Grafica" is the gold standard by which to judge all photo collections of the Mexican Revolution.