Sunday, April 22, 2007

Pg. 69: Timothy Henderson's "A Glorious Defeat"

Timothy J. Henderson's forthcoming (May 2007) book, A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and Its War with the United States, is today's feature in the Page 69 Test series.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why Mexico Went To War With The United States

The war that was fought between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 was a major event in the history of both countries: it cost Mexico half of its national territory, opened western North America to U.S. expansion, and brought to the surface a host of tensions that led to devastating civil wars in both countries. Among generations of Latin Americans, it helped to cement the image of the United States as an arrogant, aggressive, and imperialist nation, poisoning relations between a young America and its southern neighbors.

In contrast with many current books that treat the war as a fundamentally American experience, Timothy J. Henderson offers a fresh perspective on the Mexican side of the equation. Examining the manner in which Mexico gained independence, Henderson brings to light a greater understanding of that country’s intense factionalism and political paralysis leading up to and through the war. Also touching on a range of topics from culture, ethnicity, religion, and geography, this comprehensive yet concise narrative humanizes the conflict and serves as the perfect introduction for new readers of Mexican history.

Among the early praise for the book:

"This pithy, searching account of why Mexico went to war with the United States, knowing that to do so meant almost certain defeat, is sure to empower specialists and new readers of Mexican history alike. Equally important, the volume demonstrates the War's critical role as a catalyst in plunging both nations into bitter civil wars and poisoning future relations between them. Pulling few punches in his assessment of American power and hubris, Henderson contributes meaningfully to a future collaboration among neighbors based on greater understanding and mutual respect."
—Gilbert M. Joseph, Farnam Professor of History and International Studies, Yale University

"A terrific book. In a concise and readable historical narrative, Henderson lays bare the causes for this war that reflects so much about the two countries and relations between them. His book is almost as much about the present as it is about the past."
—Sam Quinones, journalist and author of True Tales From Another Mexico

Timothy Henderson is Distinguished Research Associate Professor of History at Auburn University Montgomery.

The Page 69 Test: A Glorious Defeat.

--Marshal Zeringue