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David Frye's abridgment of his 2003 translation of The Mangy Parrot captures all of the narrative drive, literary innovation, and biting social commentary that established Lizardi's comic masterpiece as the Don Quixote of Latin America.
John Woodhouse Audubon was the son of the famous naturalist, John James Audubon, and was a respected naturalist and painter in his own right. In 1849, he journeyed out to the American West and Mexico. He describes early California and the Gold Rush of '49. Audubon took notes of scenes and occurrences by the way. In his descriptions he exhibits the keen observation of the naturalist and the trained eye of the artist. The result is a remarkable picture of social conditions in Mexico, of birds and trees, of sky and mountains and the changing face of nature, of the barrenness of the desert and the difficulties of the journey, of the ruined missions of California, of methods of mining, and of the chaos of races and babel of tongues in the gold fields. It was Audubon’s intention to rewrite his notes and to publish them. One part was printed privately and given to a few friends but distractions at home prevented the completion of the work. For the first time, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones. Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above. Buy it today!
At a campaign stop when he was running for president, Ulysses S. Grant asked to stop by the grave of his friend and fellow West Point cadet, Alexander Hays, who had fallen at the Battle of the Wilderness. Newsmen reported that Grant openly wept at the graveside. After having played a pivotal role commanding the forces that turned back Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, and having exposed himself on other open battlefields, the dense Wilderness was not the place to have expected Hays to fall. At Gettysburg, it was later written: "We cannot summarize here what Hays' Division did on the third day when the final blow, embodied in Pickett's and Pettigrew's charge, fell directly upon their front. When the fight ended that afternoon fifteen colors and over two thousand prisoners fell into their hands. Magnificently were they led by their division commander [Hays]." On hearing of his death in battle, Grant quietly remarked as he sat beneath a tree, "He was a man who would never follow, but would always lead in battle." Here is the definitive biography of Major General Alexander Hays, from childhood to West Point to the Mexican War and on to the American Civil War. Every memoir of the American Civil War provides us with another view of the catastrophe that changed the country forever. For the first time, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones. Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above or download a sample.
The Mexican Revolution was a tumultuous struggle for social and political reform that ousted an autocrat and paved the way for a new national constitution. The conflict, however, came late to Yucat‡n, where a network of elite families with largely European roots held the reins of government. This privileged group reaped spectacular wealth from haciendas, cash-crop plantations tended by debt-ridden servants of Maya descent. When a revolutionary army from central Mexico finally gained a foothold in Yucat‡n in 1915, the local custom of agrarian servitude met its demise. Drawing on a dozen years of archaeological and historical investigation, Allan Meyers breaks new ground in the study of Yucat‡n haciendas. He explores a plantation village called San Juan Bautista Tabi, which once stood at the heart of a vast sugar estate. Occupied for only a few generations, the village was abandoned during the revolutionary upheaval. Its ruins now lie within a state-owned ecological reserve. Through oral histories, archival records, and physical remains, Meyers examines various facets of the plantation landscape. He presents original data and fresh interpretations on settlement organization, social stratification, and spatial relationships. His systematic approach to "things underfoot," small everyday objects that are now buried in the tropical forest, offers views of the hacienda experience that are often missing in official written sources. In this way, he raises the voices of rural, mostly illiterate Maya speakers who toiled as laborers. What emerges is a portrait of hacienda social life that transcends depictions gleaned from historical methods alone. Students, researchers, and travelers to Mexico will all find something of interest in Meyers's lively presentation. Readers will see the old haciendas--once forsaken but now experiencing a rebirth as tourist destinations--in a new light. These heritage sites not only testify to social conditions that prevailed before the Mexican Revolution, but also remind us that the human geography of modern Yucat‡n is as much a product of plantation times as it is of more ancient periods. Ê
Colonial Spanish America is a book of readings about people—people from different worlds who came together to form a society by chance and by design in the years after 1492. The book is meant to enrich, not repeat, the work of existing texts on this period, and its focus on people makes it stand out from other books that have concentrated on the political and economic aspects of the culture. This text provides a detailed look at the cultural development of colonial Latin America using readings, documents, historical analysis, and visual materials, including photographs, drawings, and paintings. The book makes interesting and exciting use of the illustrations and documents, which show social changes, puzzling developments, and the experience of living in the colonial society. Religion and society are the integral themes of Colonial Spanish America. Religion becomes the nexus for much of what has been treated as political, social, economic, and cultural history during this period. Society is just as inclusive, allowing the reader to meet a variety of individuals-not faceless social groups. While some familiar faces and voices are included-namely those of Spanish conquerors, chroniclers, and missionaries-other, less familiar points of view complement and complicate the better-known narratives of this history. In treating Iberia and America, before as well as after their meeting, apparent contradictions emerge as opportunities for understanding; different perspectives become prompts for wider discussion. Other themes include exploration; military and spiritual conquest; and the formation, consolidation, reform, and collapse of colonial institutions of government and the Church, and the accompanying changes in the economy and labor. Colonial Spanish America: A Documentary History is an excellent tool for Latin American history survey courses.

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