Ringside Seat to a Revolution

Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez, 1893–1923 (Cinco Puntos) is a horseless carriage ride back to the dawn of the twentieth century, when revolution seemed to be carried around the world on the wind. And as portrayed by David Dorado Romo in this self-described “psychogeography,” there was no hotter bed of revolt than the border cities of El Paso and Juárez, Mexico. Drawing largely from contemporaneous newspaper accounts, Romo offers a fresh perspective on characters we thought we knew well, like Pancho Villa, and introduces several who deserve a larger measure of renown, like Teresita Urrea. Ringside Seat is a fine piece of pop history and a rude Rosetta Stone for deciphering the 1910’s, when the socialist menace truly was knocking on America’s back door. M.S.

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