The Underdogs

A Novel of the Mexican Revolution

Mariano Azuela - Author

Carlos Fuentes - Foreword by

Sergio Waisman - Translator

Sergio Waisman - Introduction by

Sergio Waisman - Notes by

Paperback | $11.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780143105275 | 176 pages | 29 Jul 2008 | Penguin Classics | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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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.

“Azuela . . . marries a natural gift for fiction to his eyewitness analysis. Events come quickly, and the dialogue—expertly and sometimes thrillingly rendered by translator Waisman—whips us along.”
Los Angeles Times

The Underdogs stands for the Mexican Revolution as The Red Badge of Courage stands for the American Civil War.”
The New York Sun

“Almost a century after its first publication, Mariano Azuela’s The Underdogs is as timely a documentary of war as ever. Darfur, Sarajevo, Baghdad, or Bogota; this is not only a novel of the Mexican Revolution, but also of our own contemporary madness, and Sergio Waisman’s translation captures its full force and fervor.”
—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“A classic novel of the Mexican Revolution, The Underdogs is a work not only of unquestionable artistic value, but also of courage, sensitivity, and dedication by a writer of great literary and historical significance.”
—President Vicente Fox

“Azuela, more than any other novelist of the Mexican Revolution, lifts the heavy stone of history to see what there is underneath it.”
—Carlos Fuentes, from the Foreword

“An essential book for Mexico, about the first revolution of the twentieth century. Mariano Azuela’s pen is a warm gun, and Sergio Waisman’s translation, introduction, and notes are as vivid, well aimed, and sharp as the gunshots in the battle.”
—Elena Poniatowska

“A lively translation of a Latin American classic that takes us into Mexico’s violent and spirited first days.”
—Julio Ortega, Brown University

The Underdogs is one of the most original attempts at inventing a revolutionary style to narrate the upheaval unleashed by the Mexican Revolution. Sergio Waisman’s brilliant translation replicates the rapid-fire intensity of Mariano Azuela’s Spanish prose. Required reading for anyone interested in twentieth- century history.”
—Ruben Gallo, Princeton University

“Sergio Waisman’s lively new translation of this fast-paced novel skillfully captures the different dialects— peasant and lumpen—and the political rhetoric at the heart of the Mexican Revolution.”
—Jean Franco, Columbia University