THE TILTED SOMBRERO by Evelyn Sibley Lampman


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The point of this historically based story seems a little askew too. The setting is Mexico during the 1810 rebellion which was spearheaded by Father Hidalgo in response to many injustices permitted by Spain. Fernando de Fuentes is the observer and his contrived situation at least assures that for educational purposes he is in the right spot. For instance, his associates range from Father Hidalgo, who has become his protector, to a beloved elder brother active in fighting against the uprising. His face, which reveals that a little Indian blood had dripped into the family, conveniently permits him to move freely among the different classes. And finally, a girl-friend with a gift for tall tales is always capable of fibbing the boy into the thick of things as her spy. The book shows that the primary cause of the rebellion was the fact that the Mexican-born aristocracy (creoles) had lesser rights than the Spanish immigrants (gachupines) while another factor was the complete lack of recognition paid to the growing, mixed (mestizo) class. Although slight mention is made of greater social upheaval to come manana, it does appear that an immediate happy solution has been attained when the boy returns to his hacienda, his position secure and his peons at peace (the peons had previously shocked the insurrectionists by forgetting that they were supposed to be fighting with, not against, the creoles). Readers will find the action hard to follow, the background lacking in focus, the story illogical, and historians in disagreement with the fictional outcome.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1966
Publisher: Doubleday