Renowned as the greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, The Underdogs recounts a young peasant's recruitment into Pancho Villa's army. Demetrio Macías is compelled to defend his home from attacks by the Federales who serve Mexico's hated dictator. Forced into a fugitive existence, he encounters a rebel band and becomes their charismatic leader, shaping the vagabonds into a dynamic guerrilla force. The unit is further strengthened by an unlikely ally, the aristocratic intellectual Luis Cervantes, whose revulsion at the country's rampant social injustice has turned him against the government. But the escalating violence and harsh realities of war erode Demetrio's and Cervantes' idealism, undermining their alliance and leading to their ultimate disillusionment.
Mexican author and physician Mariano Azuela González (1873-1952) drew upon his experiences as a medic with Villa's troops to create this iconic work of Latin American literature. Prized for its authentic representation of Mexican peasant life, the novel offers a timeless portrayal of revolutionary zeal and disenchantment.
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