The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

Book Reviews

traditionally been rough and ready but workable. Real dislocation oc-
curred during the revolution when thousands of dmigrds fleeing the
excesses of the fratricidal carnage used El Paso as a relocation center.
In many respects, exacerbated ethnic tensions emerge after such a major
demographic phenomenon.
Overall, while Martinez's work does not provide a definitive study,
it does give us a reasonable springboard from which to go into greater
depth, and it presents a chronological framework upon which to hang
subsequent studies. Finally, given the turgidity of socioeconomic data,
Martinez handles his material with reasonable literary grace and makes
otherwise stultifying statistical information readable.
University of Montana MANUEL A. MACHADO, JR.
The Paradox of Pancho Villa. By Haldeen Braddy. (El Paso: Texas
Western Press, 1978. Pp. ix+95. Preface, documentation, refer-
ences, index. $1 o.)
The flyleaf of this book hails it as "the culmination of fifty years of
research and writing by the author." From such a description, one
might expect a refined, comprehensive biography, a rounding-out of
Braddy's four previous books and other published studies concerning
Pancho Villa. Instead, this slim volume is a series of rambling essays
which add nothing of substance to the existing literature on the Mexi-
can revolutionary leader.
His "main aim," the author assures us, has been "to reconcile the
enigmatic aspects of [Villa's] paradoxical character" (p. 75), a task which
Braddy admits could best be accomplished in a book of greater length.
It would also be a book of a very different kind. As it is, the author too
often abandons thoughtful, detailed analysis of his subject in favor of
flamboyant rhetoric. At one point, Villa is "the Centauro del Norte,
whose fierce courage helped to staunch oppression and to democratize
modern Mexico" (p. 9); elsewhere, as the organizer and perpetrator of
the Columbus raid, he is "an adventurer or madman" (p. 51), "a dazed
and crazed sleepwalker" (p. 53). Again, we are told that Villa "schemed,
plotted and maneuvered . .. to bring his ideological Mexico into being
by whatever means at his command" (p. 8). There is a vague suggestion
or two that his ideology was based on the need for agrarian reform or
the expulsion of foreigners from Mexico (p. 47), and that "like Robin
Hood, Villa fought for the poor, gave them alms, blessed their chil-
dren" (p. 14). Yet this "hero and rebel" was also a "woman queller, a

465

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed October 21, 2014.