The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001

Book Reviews

At one point, The City of Orange, one of the ships described in detail in this
book was loaded and ready to set sail but was short a sailor. "Recruiters" shang-
haied a shipyard worker who was drunk in a saloon at the time. He filed a com-
plaint, after the ship reached Italy, that he was kept below and drunk until they
were far out to sea (p. 62). Those involved in this incident seemed to accept the
shanghaiing because "the ship needed men, and this was the time-honored way
of getting them" (p. 64).
Bricker tells the history of each vessel and how he pieced the information
together by examining photographs, letters, court records, shipping orders, bills
of lading, certification papers, and official unchaning registration numbers
(even though ships' names may change). Through diligent research, Bricker
tracks each vessel to its demise, whether illustrious or infamous.
Brownfield, Texas Betty Hamilton
The Life and Times of Pancho Villa. By Friedrich Katz. (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford
University Press, 1998. Pp. 985. Preface, prologue, appendix, notes, archival
sources, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-8047-3046-6. $85.00, cloth.)
An enigmatic figure who went from a petty criminal rebelling against the
repressive social conditions that prevailed in the days of dictator Porfirio Diaz to
become a revolutionary general commanding tens of thousands of men,
Francisco (Pancho) Villa was characterized as a bloodthirsty bandit by those who
despised him and as a hero of Mexico's downtrodden rural population by those
who followed him. Assassinated in 1923, Villa left a legacy that did not die with
him. Who was Pancho Villa, what social goals did he and the revolutionary move-
ment that brought him international recognition represent, why was that move-
ment ultimately defeated, and what did it mean for the future of Mexico? These
are some of the central questions addressed in Friedrich Katz's, The Life and
Tzmes of Pancho Villa.
This book is much more than a biography. Katz dismantles the myths around
the man, both heroic and demonizing, and uncovers the story of Villa's tumul-
tuous life with an awesome amount of archival research that recreates the time
and place in which Villa lived. While the sheer length and detail of the book can
overwhelm more central themes, the individual anecdotes and episodes are inte-
grated into a coherent whole that reveal the social context and regional mean-
ings of the Mexican Revolution.
The excellent causal analysis of the Revolution in the North is brought to life
by the experiences of individuals and whole communities whose frustrations and
aspirations led thousands of Mexicans, like Pancho Villa, to risk their lives to
change their society. During the revolution that swept Mexico from 1910-1919,
Villa's Divisi6n del Norte emerged as the most important military force in the
country. Villa, however, remains difficult to categorize because unlike Emiliano
Zapata, Villa offered no consistent social platform like Zapata's Plan de Ayala.
Zapata demanded that land expropriated from communal villages by the hacien-
das be returned, and he fought to the death all governments that failed to realize

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/. Accessed November 28, 2014.