A reevaluation of life the man who saved the Mexican Revolution, published on the 100th anniversary of his death.
A wild ride and revealing portrait of the controversial Pancho Villa, one of Mexico’s most beloved (or loathed) heroes, that finally establishes the importance of his role in the triumph of the Mexican revolution by renowned crime writer Paco Ignacio Taibo tII.
The last biography of Pancho Villa was published 25 years ago, and this new edition has been translated into English for the first time. This biography marks a kind of reinvention of the legendary Mexican figure of Pancho Villa. It is a masterful reevaluation and heavily researched account of his life. This book makes a new claim, finally giving Pancho Villa his due as the decisive figure in the success of Mexican Revolution. Here he is less the colorful bandito and more the incorruptible conscience that not only won key battles, but also maintained the revolutionary vision and led the way in terms of class consciousness.
Pancho Villa is a rollicking, sometimes hilariously comical, sometimes extremely violent, and always very personal portrait of the controversial Mexican historical figure Pancho Villa. Beloved crime writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II (a.k.a. PIT)—the prolific historian, biographer of Che Guevara and the founder of Mexican “neopolicial” fiction—brings his tremendous storytelling skills to an account of one of the Mexico’s greatest legendary characters.
With his vibrant narrative style, Taibo describes the adventures of Pancho Villa with incredible stories, the stuff of history and tragedy, backed up by tremendous research. Throughout, Taibo unveils secrets about the life of one of Mexico's most courageous and charismatic leaders. Includes period photographs that indelibly capture the rocky transition from the wild and agrarian past towards modern statehood.
About the Author
PACO IGNACIO TAIBO II, is one of the foremost crime fiction writers in the Spanish-speaking world today. In 2019 he was named head of Mexico's Fondo de Cultura Económica, effectively a minister of literary culture. He is also the director of the acclaimed Semana Negra de Gijón, a literary festival in Spain. He is a tireless social activist, historian, and author of the best-selling biography of Che Guevara, Guevara Also Known as Che. He has written more than forty books altogether, which have been published in twenty-eight countries, including '68: The Mexican Autumn of the Tlatelolco Massacre. Some of his novels have been considered “Best Books of the Year” by the New York Times, Le Monde, and the Los Angeles Times. He has received several literary prizes, including the Premio Hammett for best crime fiction in Spain (three times), the 813 literary award for best foreign crime novel published in France, and the Premio Bancarella for the best book of the year in Italy.
TODD CHRETIEN is an organizer, author, translator, and high school Spanish teacher. He has contributed to several books, including Socialist Strategy and Electoral Politics, and is editor of Eyewitnesses to the Russian Revolution.
"From the solemn chronicles of archives to the myths burnished by campfire light; in photographs with their winking shimmer to the oral traditions carried in joke, anecdote, and rumor; from the steady and steadily assailed official record, Paco Ignacio Taibo II captures history as commotion. This narrative biography grants equal weight to what 'actually' happened as to what was said to have happened – a lingering sediment of memory and desire. Taibo does not simply reconstruct the 'true story' of Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution, he recovers the ache of a world without witness and the transformation of a man into legend."
— Christina Heatherton, author of Arise! Global Radicalism in the Era of the Mexican Revolution
Praise for Paco Taibo II
"One of the best crime writers of our time." —Gabino Iglesias, Crime Reads
"Paco Ignacio Taibo II is the father of the neopoliciaco genre and one of the most talented and historically educated chroniclers of Mexico City. However, fans of crime fiction should read him because he has a soft spot for everyday people and a fist of anger always ready to attack injustice and defend those who, through their everyday hustling and menial jobs, keep Mexico City functioning." —Gabino Iglesias, Crime Reads
"Taibo's writing is witty, provocative, finely nuanced and well worth the challenge." —Publisher's Weekly
“Paco Taibo II is one of the greatest experts on Pancho Villa’s life.” —CNN Mexico
"Taibo writes with genuine savvy, a crackling wit and a certain zaniness that is his very own. Once we pick up the strange but beguiling rhythms of his narrative style, we begin to understand that Taibo is a storyteller of real genius." —Jonathan Kirsch, LA Times
"The name Paco Ignacio Taibo II... evokes various descriptions: an author translated in multiple languages, an indefatigable promoter of culture, a hispanic-mexican citizen, a historian, the current director of the Economic Culture Fund, an arduous defendor of art, and, most importantly, a figure of resistance." —Adonai Castañeda, Neotraba