It is good to see that academic presses continue to publish primary sources in elegant and useful formats, even if the prices are elevated. Such is the case with Karen Racine and Graham Lloyd's annotated edition of James A. Brush's “journal” of his time in Mexico with Francisco Xavier Mina. Brush, a Scottish veteran of the Peninsular War once held by the French as a prisoner of war, joined Mina in Liverpool, so he was part of the expedition from the beginning. He stayed with the Spanish war hero turned freedom fighter until the very end, a period of 18 months. Unlike many Spaniards and Mexicans captured in the course of the expedition's collapse, he was not executed but was allowed to leave Mexico in 1819.

Francisco Xavier Mina was the quintessential idealist warrior of the Romantic era. Born in northern Spain on the eve of the French Revolution, he...

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