The war that was fought between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 was a major event in the history of both countries: it cost Mexico half of its national territory, opened western North America to U.S. expansion, and brought to the surface a host of tensions that led to devastating civil wars in both countries. Among generations of ...
The war that was fought between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 was a major event in the history of both countries: it cost Mexico half of its national territory, opened western North America to U.S. expansion, and brought to the surface a host of tensions that led to devastating civil wars in both countries. Among generations of Latin Americans, it helped to cement the image of the United States as an arrogant, aggressive, and imperialist nation, poisoning relations between a young America and its southern neighbors. In contrast with many current books that treat the war as a fundamentally American experience, Timothy J. Henderson offers a fresh perspective on the Mexican side of the equation. Examining the manner in which Mexico gained independence, Henderson brings to light a greater understanding of that country's intense factionalism and political paralysis leading up to and through the war. Also touching on a range of topics from culture, ethnicity, religion, and geography, this comprehensive yet concise narrative humanizes the conflict and serves as the perfect introduction for new readers of Mexican history.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-02-19 Henderson, on the faculty of Auburn University, offers a survey of the Mexican War from a Mexican perspective. Instead of the common depiction of Mexico as the victim of the U.S. and its racist Manifest Destiny, Henderson emphasizes Mexican agency in going to war, which reflected a profound sense of weakness. Mexico's revolutionary experience had produced a virulent factionalism based on divisions of race, class, region and ideology. The Texas revolt of 1836 only made it more clear that Mexico was too weak to populate, control and defend its northern territories, but that opinion was derided within Mexico. Instead, politicians of every stripe denounced the policies of their rivals. The only common denominator was that Texas must be reconquered, even if that meant war with overwhelmingly superior U.S. military and economic power. But the Mexican people remained largely indifferent-otherwise Winfield Scott's landing at Vera Cruz and his decisive march on Mexico City would have been impossible. Mexico, unable to pursue a pragmatic strategy of negotiation and compromise, suffered-and celebrated-a "glorious defeat" that further unraveled a disunited nation. 8 pages b&w photos not seen by PW. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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