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The Face of Pancho Villa

ForeWord Magazine
Author Friedrich Katz...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.
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 
Reforma Newsletter
Friedrich Katz, scholar of the Mexican Revolution and 19th and 20th century history of Mexico and Latin America wrote this easy to understand narrative about Pancho Villa. The book is very pleasant to read and has a great introduction, delving into the legend of Pancho Villa, one of Mexico’s most important revolutionaries, and his many contradictions. Katz does not use jargon that someone unfamiliar with the topic would find difficult. One of the major themes is Villa’s humble beginnings and his great achievements. The use of archival photographs adds depth to Pancho Villa as we see how he interacted with his troops and the community. For visual learners, this is a great book. The format is paperback, measuring 8.25” X 8.25”. The pages are thick and the black-and-white archival photographs can be appreciated in a book this size. The book can stand up to moderate use.

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