BENITO JUAREZ: Builder of a Nation by Emma Gelders Sterne

BENITO JUAREZ: Builder of a Nation

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This is a comfortable, conscientious story of the little Indian who became the conscience of modern Mexico, in many ways similar to its subject though without his reputed intellectual acuteness. We use the word story advisedly; events, undoubtedly documented, are developed in the form of incidents fleshed out with fictional dialogue. The result is pleasant reading rather than penetrating history, but it does provide a general picture of the man within the context of Mexican politics and we wouldn't question it except that more mature readers, who are most likely (outside of the Southwest) to be interested in the subject are the most likely to be put off by the approach. The only competition, Nina Brown Baker's 1942 biography, was not immediately available for comparison; if you have it, you may want to examine it in the light of the foregoing. On its own, this will serve to illumine the Mexican experience and to introduce a distinctive, significant figure until something sharper comes along.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Knopf