The Face of Pancho Villa: A History in Photographs and Words (Paperback)
"There is no doubt that history is written by the victors," spoke a eulogizer at Pancho Villa's funeral, "but it is also true that legends are written by the people. For that reason, the name of Francisco Villa has remained enshrined forever in the heart of the poor."
Yes, Pancho Villa is a legend, but he is also a mystery and a bundle of contradictions. This book, coupling noted historian Friedrich Katz's text with forty-two archival photographs, provides a deep insight into this revolutionary who was a hero for some, a villain for others. Hero or villain, he changed the history of Mexico.
Pancho Villa has never been forgotten by the people--los de abajo (the underdogs)--but for too long academia has belittled his achievements and importance. Yet the scholarship of Friedrich Katz has forced Pancho Villa back into historical conversations as a pivotal and complex figure in the Mexican Revolution. Villa did more during the armed phases of the Mexican Revolution to overthrow the Diaz and Huerta regimes than any other Mexican leader. Yet unlike most of his peers, he came from the lowest rungs of Mexican society and lacked formal education.
Friedrich Katz is the preeminent historian of the Mexican Revolution. His book The Life and Times of Pancho Villa shifted the focus of scholarship on the revolution to Pancho Villa and the northern armies.
"Author Friedrich Katz...is practically legendary in Mexico himselfand with good reason: his clear writing untangles the rather messy Revolutionary strands and his superb scholarship enlivens the people and the times." —ForeWord Magazine
"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. "—Reforma