Franklin W. Knight is Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University.
Colin A. Palmer is Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University.
Despite its fame early in the twentieth century, Barbarous Mexico was out of print for close to sixty years. The present edition, with an introductory biographical essay on Turner by Sinclair Snow and photographs of the principal characters involved, not only reemphasizes the causes of the Mexican Revolution, but provides both lay reader and scholar with a vivid and exciting account of life in Mexico under Porfirio Díaz.
The Life and Times of Mexico is a grand narrative driven by 3,000 years of history: the Indian world, the Spanish invasion, Independence, the 1910 Revolution, the tragic lives of workers in assembly plants along the border, and the experiences of millions of Mexicans who live in the United States. Mexico is seen here as if it were a person, but in the Aztec way; the mind, the heart, the winds of life; and on every page there are portraits and stories: artists, shamans, teachers, a young Maya political leader; the rich few and the many poor. Earl Shorris is ingenious at finding ways to tell this story: prostitutes in the Plaza Loreto launch the discussion of economics; we are taken inside two crucial elections as Mexico struggles toward democracy; we watch the creation of a popular "telenovela" and meet the country's greatest living intellectual. The result is a work of magnificent scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo, himself a soldier under Cortes, presents a fascinatingly detailed description of the Spanish landing in Mexico in 1520 and their amazement at the city, the exploitation of the natives for gold and other treasures, the expulsion and flight of the Spaniards, their regrouping and eventual capture of the Aztec capital.