The Underdogs

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-11-04
  • Publisher: Signet Classics

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The greatest novel of the mexican revolution This story of a modest, peace-loving Indian, forced to side with rebels to save his family—only to become a compulsive militarist—has been compared to the works of Chekhov and Gorky as a powerful and insightful portrait of social upheaval.

Author Biography

Mariano Azuela (1873-1952) became both a practicing physician and a writer, publishing his first novel, Andrés Pérez, maderista, in 1911. He supported Francisco I. Madero’s uprising against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and  was made Director of Education of the State of Jalisco. After Madero’s assassination, he joined the army of Pancho Villa as a doctor. When counterrevolutionary forces temporarily gained control of Mexico, Azuela emigrated to El Paso, Texas, where in 1915 he wrote Los de abajo (The Underdogs). With this novel, Azuela became the first Mexican writer to give form to the reality of the Revolution. However, his disappointment with the corruption that followed soon began to manifest itself, as in the savage sarcasm of his later novels (Las moscas, La luciérnaga, El camarada Pantoja). After withdrawing from public life, Azuela lived in Mexico City, writing and working as a doctor among the poor. He is buried in Mexico’s equivalent of Westminster Abbey, the Rotonda de Hombres Ilustres.
Ana Castillo is the author of several novels, including Peel My Love like an Onion and the American Book Award Winner The Mixquiahuala Letters, as well as non-fiction and poetry. She holds the Sor Juana de la Cruz chair at DePaul University.
Max Parra teaches Latin American literature at the University of California, San Diego. His scholarly work focuses on the literature, photography, and history of the Mexican Revolution. He is the author of Writing Pancho Villa’s Revolution: Rebels in the Literary Imagination of Mexico.

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