Máximo Castillo and the Mexican Revolution is the first English-language translation of the memoirs of General Máximo Castillo of Chihuahua, a pivotal figure in the civil war that consumed Mexico between 1910 and 1920. Born into rural poverty, Castillo experienced first-hand the repression of Porfirio Díaz’s autocratic regime. When the wealthy statesman and author Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz for the Mexican presidency, campaigning on an idealistic platform of democratic reforms, Castillo joined the many Mexicans who supported Madero’s candidacy. As the campaign progressed and political tensions escalated, liberal democrats, including Castillo, organized a widespread popular revolt against Díaz and his followers. Thereafter, Castillo quickly rose in the ranks, becoming the leader of a revolutionary faction in Chihuahua similar to the one headed by General Emiliano Zapata in the state of Morelos.
Castillo’s role in the Mexican Revolution, in which he emerged as an influential leader who fought for land reform before being imprisoned and exiled, was largely forgotten by history until the discovery of his memoirs. A Spanish-language edition of Castillo’s writings, edited by Jesús Vargas Valdés and published in 2009, conveys the movement’s tenets, triumphs, and setbacks in the words of one of its most passionate leaders. Ana-Isabel Aliaga-Buchenau’s translation of this critical work into English expands the reach of Castillo’s valuable, but often overlooked, perspective on the events of the Revolution.
Jesús Vargas Valdés is research professor of history at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Ana-Isabel Aliaga-Buchenau is associate professor in the Department of Languages and Culture Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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