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Ringside Seat to a Revolution

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Romo submits that his book is about what he calls an offbeat collection of individuals who were in El Paso and Juarez during the Mexican Revolution, "one of the most fascinating periods in the region's history." The author, who was raised in El Paso and Juarez, chronicles the point of view of those people whom official histories have considered peripheral to the main events—military band musicians who played Verdi operas during executions, filmmakers who came to the border to make silent movies, female bullfighters, anarchists, poets, spies with Graflex cameras, pool hustlers reborn as postcard salesmen, illegal Chinese aliens, radical feminists, and smugglers. More than 200 archival black-and-white photographs enhance Romo's lively text. They show spectators watching the Battle of Juarez from trains, women drinking from huge glasses at a Juarez bar, a bull killing a matador, a jazz band at an El Paso cafe, and executions. The book sheds new light on a fascinating era.

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