• Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata

  • The Lives and Legacies of Mexico’s Most Famous Revolutionaries
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Dan Gallagher
  • Length: 3 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-22-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Charles River Editors
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.4 (5 ratings)

Regular price: $14.95

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Publisher's Summary

“Pancho Villa,” people whispered at the beginning of the 20th century, "can march 100 miles without stopping, live 100 days without food, go 100 nights without sleep, and kill 100 men without remorse." The legend of Francisco Villa is full of heroism, tragedy and romance. It is the story of a poor farmer boy who became a bandit out of necessity, after avenging an injustice on his family; a military genius who flew from an oppressive government to lead the largest revolutionary army in his country's history, and defeated dictatorship to become Mexico´s liberator, only to fall again in disgrace when his troops abandoned him or were massacred by the enemy. Pancho Villa and his cavalry, Mexicans point out with a certain amount of pride, invaded the United States, and although they came and tried to capture him, they never found him. This is, at least, the version that most of them know, but it's certainly not the same as in their textbooks. The story of Francisco Villa bypassed official censorship from generation to generation, like leaves sailing at full speed on the surface of a stream.
But the historical reconstruction is full of nuances. Was he a freedom fighter, or a bandit? Was he a Mexican Robin Hood, or a thief and a murderer? Was he present when his troops invaded U.S. territory? Was the advance of his famous "Dorados" (the “golden ones,” the name of his troops) the cause for joy, or terror among the people as they passed the countryside towards Mexico City? Pancho Villa´s personality has been controversial since the very beginning of his career as a General of the revolutionary army.
A little more than 100 years ago a Mexican peasant named Emiliano Zapata gathered a rural army from the plantations and villages of southern Mexico, seized the lands of the haciendas, and began to distribute them among the peasants of Anenecuilco, his hometown, in the state of Morelos. Outraged and impatient with the ceaseless destitution of the indigenous peoples at the hands of the landowners, he had decided to take justice in his hands. His flag was Liberty and Justice, the exact opposites of the two burdens that had tyrannized the rural population: work in semi-slavery conditions and immense inequality.
Zapata, who in a few years assembled a popular army of 25,000, was a unique case in the history of Mexico. His country's past had consisted of opportunist generals revolting against the government seeking not to make justice, but to seize power. Conversely, Zapata was not interested in politics or power plays, except in their most practical and immediate form: to distribute land among the peasants; to allow them to work in peace; and to defend their gains by force of arms.

©2017 Charles River Editors (P)2017 Charles River Editors
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By R. Sanchez on 01-17-18

An Offensive Narration

What did you like best about Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata? What did you like least?

This is a fine introduction for someone who doesn't know much about either figure, about what you'd expect from a 100-page overview of two complex figures in an even more complex time.

Would you be willing to try another one of Dan Gallagher’s performances?

No. Although Gallagher's reading is clear and steady, his pronunciation is horrible, bordering on offensive. His reading of the Spanish is so bad that at points I found myself not understanding a word even though I already knew what it should be (because I know the history). Really, how hard can it be to find someone who can pronounce Spanish correctly?! Also, there are several English words - "iconography," to offer just one example - that Gallagher mis-pronounces in a way that made me wonder at first whether this was a live voice or an automated reading (like Siri). Worst of all, however, is Gallagher's portrayal of the voices of Villa and Zapata (i.e. when he is reading them in their own words). There he feels the need to adopt a guttural "Mexican" accent that is so bad it reminds me of a 1960s cinematic portrayal of a Mexican (or Chinese) figure by a racist white guy: an exaggerated caricature full of stereotypes. (Remember the Chinese landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany's? Yeah, almost like that.)

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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