Heritage, Volume 7, Number 1, Winter 1989 Page: 27
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Centaur of the North:
Francisco Villa, The
Mexican Revolution, and
Centaur of the North: Francisco Villa, The
Mexican Revolution, and Northern Mexico,
Manuel A. Machado, Jr., Eakin Press.
Revisionist History, Lesson Number II:
If Blodgett is a little soft for the land speculators
in the Panhandle, the effect is buffered
in this season's publication lists by this
excellent book on Francisco "Pancho"
Villa. Machado gives an even-handed
account of the career and politics of the
larger-than-life Nortefio hero. At the age
of 16 Villa was on the run from the law of
Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz, and as both
bandit and revolutionary, devoted his life
to reducing the market slice of the elite
governing class. Whether it was rustling
cattle that he ran through his own butcher
shops, or engaging the Parturistas in battles
throughout northern Mexico, Villa won a
reputation for revolutionary integrity and
compassion. Until recently the history
books labelled him as a brigand and a pirate
but they were written by Yankees and his
enemies who had him assassinated in 1923,
and who subsequently controlled Mexican
politics in his absence. Machado gives a
balanced account from south of the border
and north of the Distrito Federal. He puts
into perspective Villa's role in the revolutionary
process that has been the counterpart
of Mexico's struggle for independence.
Mexican political development is rich and
complex and a bigger task than a single
book on one of its early historical figures
could hope to encompass. But this book
does its subject justice in its explication of
Pancho Villa as folk hero and revolutionary
leader. There will never be cornridas
written about the media figures of US
politics. Compared to our anemic candidates,
Pancho Villa was truly the right stuff.
A Natural State
A Natural State, Stephen Harrigan, Texas
Monthly Press, $14.95.
Our American heritage has really
wreaked havoc with Nature. We've not
only dumped on our environment, we've
made a travesty of the concept itself. Lurk
got those hard-to-find books about the people and
of the Western frontier. Write for a free catalog of
published books and those that are currently in
Are you a collector of rare out-of-print books about
the good and bad guys, the soldiers, mountain men,
ranchers, and settlers of the West. Drop us a note and
we'll send copies of our out-of-print catalogs.
Occasionally we have photographs, documents, and
signatures of many of those who helped win the West.
RIDE INTO HISTORY WITH US!
THE EARLY WEST
Creative Publishing Company TBE
Box 9292, Ph. 409-775-6047 EARY WEST
College Station, Texas 77842 EARLY WES
ing in the subtitles of most treatises on the
subject, Man and Nature are always apart,
capitalized, in italics. It may be the only
way we can purge our guilt over our sullied
landscape. We make Nature akin to
church, set it apart in sanctuaries, and then
divvy up the rest for our fiscal gain. But it all
comes back. The wildlife refuges choke on
the offal of our economy, the national
parks jam up with weekend worshippers,
even the air, heavy with sulfides, kills the
trees in our preserves. The problem lies
partly in our schizophrenic attitude. It's
trite to say, but it's all a web, and we're
caught up in it just as much as the whooping
cranes or the Concho River water
snakes, or the endangered critters in the
caves along the Balcones Escarpment.
We're not apart from nature, we are part of
In these essays on the state of nature in
Texas, Stephen Harrigan grapples with his
sense of place. Harrigan is equally at home
writing evocative descriptions of sunrise in
HERITAGE * WINTER 1989 27
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 7, Number 1, Winter 1989, periodical, Winter 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45430/m1/27/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.