Ten years after its publication in a small El Paso paper, The Underdogs achieved worldwide renown as the greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution. It tells the story of Demetrio Macías, a modest, peace-loving Indian, who is forced to side with the rebels to save his family. In the course of battle, he becomes a compulsive militarist almost despite himself, and his courage leads to a generalship in Pancho Villa's army. But as the rebels suffer defeat after defeat, Macías loses prestige and moral purpose at the hands of turncoats, camp followers, and the peasants who once loved him. The social conscience and bitter irony of Azuela's classic novel have earned him comparisons to Chekhov and Gorky. As Mexico continues to celebrate and struggle with the consequences of its great revolution, The Underdogs remains a powerful and insightful portrait of social upheaval.
Translated by E. Munguia Jr.
With an Introduction by Ana Castillo
and an Afterword by Max Parra
The greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, in a brilliant new translation by an award-winning translator
The Underdogs is the first great novel about the first great revolution of the twentieth century. Demetrio Macias, a poor, illiterate Indian, must join the rebels to save his family. Courageous and charismatic, he earns a generalship in Pancho Villa?s army, only to become discouraged with the cause after it becomes hopelessly factionalized. At once a spare, moving depiction of the limits of political idealism, an authentic representation of Mexico?s peasant life, and a timeless portrait of revolution, The Underdogs is an iconic novel of the Latin American experience and a powerful novel about the disillusionment of war.
Hailed as the greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, The Underdogs recounts the story of an illiterate but charismatic Indian peasant farmer's part in the rebellion against Porfirio Díaz, and his subsequent loss of belief in the cause when the revolutionary alliance becomes factionalized. Azuela's masterpiece is a timeless, authentic portrayal of peasant life, revolutionary zeal, and political disillusionment.