Ringside Seat to a Revolution

by Romo, David Dorado

$26.95

Truly, the best seats in the house for watching the spectacle of the Mexican Revolution were located along the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas and its sister city Juárez, Chihuahua. Indeed, these cities like the city of Boston, Massachusetts, for the American Revolution served as the intellectual crucible for the Mexican Revolution. This is where the first modern revolution of Latin America began. The heroes and images of this people's uprising still populate the border's cultural landscape like ghosts.

But as with so many histories that involve peoples and cultures of color, we've always seen the events through the wrong set of eyes. David Dorado Romo a micro-historian, a man with his feet on both sides of the Rio Grande gives us new eyes and a re-imagined perspective to witness these revolutionary years. Through detailed research, archival photographs and great storytelling, he relates the history of a long-ignored cultural and political renaissance that was born of the conflict to depose the Díaz Regime and the bloody struggles that followed. His history helps us define fronterizos, a hybrid group of people not wholly Mexican, not wholly American who played an essential role in launching the Mexican Revolution.

This marvelous cast of characters includes well known characters like the People's revolutionary, Pancho Villa, who rides his Indian motorcycle thought the streets of El Paso and Teresa Urrea, la Santa de Cabora, who was the spiritual inspiration for so many of the paisanos who gave their lives for Mexico.

But Ringside Seat is also about insurrection from the perspective of the peripheral characters military band musicians who played Verdi operas during executions in Juárez; filmmakers who came to the border to make silent flicks like The Greaser's Revenge and Guns and Greasers; female bullfighters; poets; jazz musicians; Anglo pool hustlers reborn as postcard salesmen; Chinese illegal aliens; arms smugglers; and, of course, revolutionaries, counterrevolutionaries and counter-counterrevolutionaries.

2005
Cinco Punto Press, 293 pages
Available in softcover



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