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The Face of Pancho Villa

ForeWord Magazine

In Mexico, the Casasola photography collection is legendary. It was begun by Agustín Victor Casasola during the Revolution as a means to manage the considerable consumer appetite for war action photos (not to mention a certain self-promotional zeal—he is infamous for scratching photographers’ names off photos to be replaced by his own). In 1976 the Mexican government bought the collection, which includes almost 800,000 prints, negatives, and images of the war.

Cinco Puntos, a press that specializes in literature from Mexico, the American Southwest, and la frontera between, has come out with a book originally published in Mexico that features photos from the collection. The Face of Pancho Villa: A History in Photography and Words (978-1-933693-08-8 ) traces the sharecropper birth of the, again, legendary general, through his collaboration with future president Madero and future villain Huerta in 1912, to his death by assassination in 1923. Author Friedrich Katz, professor emeritus of Latin American history at the University of Chicago, is practically legendary in Mexico himself—and with good reason: his clear writing untangles the rather messy Revolutionary strands and his superb scholarship enlivens the people and the times.
- May 1, 2008 

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