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Publisher's Summary

A dramatic account of the “Punitive Expedition” of 1916 that brought Pancho Villa and Gen. John J. Pershing into conflict and whose reverberations continue in the Southwestern US to this day.

Jeff Guinn, chronicler of the Southwestern US and of American undesirables (Bonnie and Clyde, Charles Manson, Jim Jones) tells the riveting story of Pancho Villa’s bloody raid on a small US border town that sparked a violent conflict with the US. The “Punitive Expedition” was launched in retaliation under Pershing’s command and brought together the Army, National Guard, and the Texas Rangers - who were little more than organized vigilantes with a profound dislike of Mexicans on both sides of the border. Opposing this motley military brigade was Villa, a guerrilla fighter who commanded an ever-changing force of conscripts in Northern Mexico.

The American expedition was the last action by the legendary African-American “Buffalo Soldiers”. It was also the first time the Army used automobiles and trucks, which were of limited value in Mexico, a country with no paved roads or gas stations. Curtiss Jenny airplanes did reconnaissance, another first. One era of warfare was coming to a close as another was beginning. But despite some bloody encounters, the Punitive Expedition eventually withdrew without capturing Villa.

Today Anglos and Latinos in Columbus, New Mexico, where Villa’s raid took place, commemorate those events, but with differing emotions. And although the bloodshed has ended, the US-Mexico border remains as vexed and volatile an issue as ever.

©2021 24Words LLC. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • jorge molina
  • 18-07-2021

Interesting research, but a biased narrative.

This book could be much better. It seems like the author researched the matter well, but his biased ruined the book. He would appropriately criticize villas’ actions as murderous thievery, but whitewashed the atrocities committed by the Texas Rangers. He was quick to criticize Mexican incompetence, but passively pointed out the US mistakes driven by hubris or a sense of racial superiority. I was torn bout writing a negative review, but the author finished the book by juxtaposing “Mexicans and horses” in a crowd. While there is some interesting research the biased narrative destroyed the authors credibility. Finally, it lacks a coherent vision to related to today’s border issues.

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Profile Image for Tyree
  • Tyree
  • 22-05-2021

Outstanding ! MUST READ-Listen

I was mesmerized! I thought I was well aware of the facts regarding the pre-WW1 US Pershing- Mexican incursion from readings and TV documentaries, and therefore almost did not download this book. BOY was I wrong! This book gives much more context to the event then I ever imagined. I had not heard about the "de San Diego Plan" or the fact that there were numerous on going border "incidents" both before and after Villa's Columbus raid and Pershing's Mexico invasion .This book provides the political, social and personality context better then anything I have thus far read or scene on any visual documentary. In fact the media documentaries thus far should be ashamed of their superficial manner in which they treat this subject! Caveat! I am not associated in any way nor know or am connected with the author, narrator, publisher or amazon-audiobooks. I make this review as a simple audio-reader as yourself.

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  • Eddie Wittern
  • 20-05-2021

Alright history book.

It was alright but wasn't what I expected. Wouldn't read again. Just didn't enjoy this book.

2 people found this helpful

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