War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion

Jeff Guinn. Simon & Schuster, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-1-9821-2886-9
Guinn (The Vagabonds) brings the U.S.-Mexico conflicts of the early 20th century to vibrant life in this superior history. At the heart of the story is Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary leader whose forces killed American soldiers and civilians during a cross-border raid in 1916. Villa had played a crucial role in the 1914 ousting of Mexican president Victoriano Huerta, only to become an adversary of Huerta’s successor, Venustiano Carranza. Guinn documents how Germany flirted with both Carranza and Villa, hoping that unrest near the U.S. border would make it more likely that President Wilson would stay out of WWI. The situation came to a head in March 1916, when Villa launched an attack on Columbus, N.Mex., in an attempt to provoke a military invasion of Mexico and create a political crisis for Carranza. U.S. troops under the command of Gen. John Pershing entered Mexico in pursuit of Villa, but the effort proved both financially costly and unsuccessful. Villa ultimately retired, only to be assassinated in 1923, soon after announcing that he might run for president. Guinn expertly mines primary and secondary sources and stocks his fluid narrative with racist vigilantes, botched assassination attempts, and risky military ventures. The result is a riveting introduction to a lesser-known chapter in American history. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/18/2021
Release date: 05/18/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-9821-2887-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2591-6
Library Binding - 582 pages - 978-1-4328-9076-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-2593-0
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