Most Mexicanists know Martín Luis Guzmán as author of one of the revolution's canonical novels, La sombra del caudillo (1929), and one of its canonical memoirs, El águila y la serpiente (1928). Fewer may realize just how central Guzmán was to the revolutionary party's cultural management: chummy with presidents from Lázaro Cárdenas to Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, leading light of the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua, owner of a publishing house and Librerías de Cristal, president of the ballet, director of the National Commission for Free Textbooks, eventually a senator. In his writings he despised opportunism; in his later career he incarnated it.

The Man Who Wrote Pancho Villa aspires to reconcile this savvy self-promotion with a self-abnegating persona. Nicholas Cifuentes-Goodbody brings together the greatest hits—the two masterworks and the Obras completas—with Guzmán's essays from exile, major public speeches, and personal papers...

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