Pancho Villa: Strong Man of the Revolution by Larry Harris
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Pancho Villa was the son of a field laborer and was orphaned at an early age. In revenge for an assault on his sister, he killed one of the owners of the estate on which he worked and was afterward forced to flee to the mountains, where he spent his adolescence as a fugitive.
In 1910 Villa joined Francisco Madero’s uprising against the dictator of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz. During the rebellion, Villa, who lacked a formal education but had learned to read and write, displayed his talents as soldier and organizer. Combined with his intimate knowledge of the land and the people of northern Mexico, those gifts enabled him to place at Madero’s disposal a division of trained soldiers under his command. After the success of the revolution, Villa remained in the irregular army.
Larry Harris tells this story of a man who rose against the bitter oppression of the Mexican caste system to become a leader who would hear the chant “Viva Villa!” echo off crumbling adobe walls in dozens of poor villages where there had been no hope and no future. Villa promised both. He captures life of Villa-as bandit, revolutionary, and military leader-with the facts of history and the immediacy of on-the-spot journalism.
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