Friedrich Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa (1998)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A masterpiece of historical research, this book is as revelatory as it is essential for serious students of North American history or military history. In remarkable detail, Katz chronicles the rise to power of a man who, far from being a mere bandit, for years commanded a battle-hardened army that defeated modern Federal forces in pitched battles fought over multiple days and dozens of miles, including the use of machine guns, barbed wire, and long-range artillery. Ultimately defeated by his better-equipped, better-organized, and politically savvier opponents, Villa did find himself reduced to banditry then irrelevance, but for U.S. citizens and officers who think of the Mexican Revolution (the first great revolution of the 20th century, fought from 1910 through 1917) solely in terms of our fruitless punitive expedition, this book, with its thrilling accounts of wide-ranging campaigns and savage battles, offers a one-volume education.




Ralph Peters is the author of twenty-nine books, including works on strategy and military affairs, as well as best-selling, prize-winning novels. He has published more than a thousand essays, articles, and columns. As a US Army enlisted man and officer, he served in infantry and military Intelligence units before becoming a foreign area officer and global scout. After retiring in 1998, he covered wars and trouble spots in the Middle East and Africa. He now concentrates on writing books but remains Fox News’s strategic analyst. His latest novel, Hell or Richmond, a gritty portrayal of Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign, follows his recent New York Times best seller, Cain at Gettysburg, for which he received the 2013 Boyd Award for Literary Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association. Video: Ralph Peters on the importance of military history education in the militaryPeters is also the author of the Civil War novel, The Damned of Petersburg.