The Life and Death of a Mexican Revolutionary
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
A long-overdue biography of a significant but little-known and less understood figure of Mexican history, Orozco tells the full story of this revolutionary’s meteoric rise and ignominious descent, including the purposely obscured circumstances of his death at the hands of a lone, murderous lawman. That story—of an unknown muleteer of Northwest Chihuahua who became the revolution’s most important military leader, a national hero and idol, only to turn on his former revolutionary ally Francisco Madero—is one of the most compelling narratives of early-twentieth-century Mexican history. Without Orozco’s leadership, Madero would likely have never deposed dictator Porfirio Díaz. And yet Orozco soon joined Madero’s hated assassin, the new dictator, Victoriano Huerta, and espoused progressive reforms while fighting on behalf of reactionaries.
Whereas other historians have struggled to make sense of this contradictory record, Caballero brings to light Orozco’s bizarre appointment of an unknown con man to administer his rebellion, a man whose background and character, once revealed, explain many of Orozco’s previously baffling actions. The book also delves into the peculiar history of Orozco’s homeland, offering new insight into why Northwest Chihuahua, of all places in Mexico, produced the revolution’s military leadership, in particular a champion like Pascual Orozco. From the circumstances of his ascent, to revelations about his treachery, to the true details of his death, Orozco at last emerges, through Caballero’s account, in all his complexity and significance.
“The Mexican Revolution had an enormous cast of characters. Pascual Orozco was one important figure whom historians have virtually ignored. Raymond Caballero’s excellent biography more than fills that gap.”—Louis R. Sadler, coauthor of The Great Call-Up: The Guard, the Border, and the Mexican Revolution
“Raymond Caballero takes the reader on a wild and exciting ride, from Pascual Orozco’s overthrow of Porfirio Díaz, to his revolt against Francisco Madero, to his house arrest in El Paso and his tragic death at the hands of a Texas posse in the Van Horn Mountains. This thoroughly researched biography of Orozco, masterful in its breadth and insights and based on an impressive range of sources, greatly enlarges our understanding of a crucial time in Mexican and American history. Highly recommended.”—Jerry D. Thompson, author of Cortina: Defending the Mexican Name in Texas
“Raymond Caballero superbly contextualizes Pascual Orozco’s participation in the Mexican Revolution and explains Orozco’s enigmatic alliances, first with progressive forces and later with reactionary factions. Caballero also clears up the mystery of who really killed Orozco in West Texas in 1915. Anyone interested in the Mexican Revolution will enjoy this concise, engaging, and well-illustrated account of the contributions of the tragic revolutionary leader to that epic social movement.”—Oscar J. Martínez, author of Troublesome Border, Revised Edition