by Timothy J. Henderson
Henderson offers a good synthesis for the general reader of what is known about Mexico's wars for independence between 1810 and 1821. He illustrates how the policies and practices of the Spanish colonial authorities led to a stratification of Mexican society, which ultimately brought about demands for political and social reform, and how attitudes and events in Spain influenced Mexican politics, society, and the course of the wars for independence. The royalists, Creoles (Spaniards born in Mexico), castes (those of mixed parentage), and Indians had different objectives, but Henderson keeps it all straight and provides in-depth portraits of the major revolutionary figures, allowing readers to easily follow the changes in fortune and shifting alliances and objectives. Henderson also explains how the wars deepened the divisions that plagued Mexico and set the stage for the turbulent decades to come. Written for the general reader, this accessible overview will also be useful to undergraduates. Highly recommended.
Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.