The General and the Jaguar: Pershing's Hunt for Pancho Villa: A True Story of Revolution and Revenge

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Overview

On the cold, dark night of March 9, 1916, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa—el jaguar—and his band of marauders crossed the border and raided the tiny town of Columbus, New Mexico. It was a vicious surprise attack, ending with corpses piled in the streets and psychological wounds that would last a lifetime. Suspects were rounded up, trials were held, and a virulent backlash against persons of Mexican origin erupted. General John “Black Jack” Pershing was told to assemble a small army, head into Mexico, and get Villa, dead or alive. The last hurrah for the U.S. cavalry, the “Punitive Expedition” marked America’s first use of armored tanks, airplanes, and trucks against an enemy. One of the deputies Pershing would choose was a recent West Point graduate named George Patton.The expedition brought the United States and Mexico to the brink of war, but it also restored greatness to both prey and predator. More than a classic account of the war for control of the West, The General and the Jaguar is a brilliant chronicle of obsession and revenge and a dual portrait of John Pershing and Pancho Villa, two of the greatest military minds of all time.
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Editorial Reviews

BookLoons
"The General and The Jaguar explores the volatile issues of nationalism, patriotism, and revolutionary fervor. It also looks at the dangers of one country sending a military expedition--in pursuit of a presumed, singular threat to national security--into another hostile, foreign country for the purposes of removing a menace who has terrorized citizens. It also, by the way, examines the ways in which militarization of a border can cause unanticipated problems. Yes, Welsome has written brilliantly about an incident that occurred in the early twentieth century. But The General and The Jaguar seems strangely relevant to the early twenty-first century. See what you think."—BookLoons
Houston Chronicle

“Welsome lets the story—of an attack by foreign forces on U.S. soil, the racial and political turmoil it caused, the expense it necessitated and the frustration it provoked—tell itself. It’s a good story, even if it sounds painfully familiar.”—Charles Matthews, Houston Chronicle

— Charles Matthews

Booklist
“A fast-moving and engrossing narrative. . . . [Welsome] provides a highly readable and informative account, which also offers interesting portraits of some key figures in the Mexican Revolution.”—Booklist
The Americas

“This is the most engaging narrative of the events leading up to the Columbus incident and Pershing’s Punitive Expedition that followed that I have read. . . . Welsome’s The General and the Jaguar reads like many of the more engaging military histories of the U.S. Civil War . . . and will thus be of most interest to the general public and military history buffs. Welsome’s fascinating portraits of both military leaders and everyday citizens might also work well in introductory courses on the Mexican revolution and U.S.-Latin American relations.”—Andrae M. Marak, The Americas

— Andrae M. Marak

New Mexico Magazine
“A well-paced narrative account. . . . The skillful manner in which Welsome chronicles these events should enthrall anyone interested in this period.”—New Mexico Magazine
Houston Chronicle - Charles Matthews
“Welsome lets the story—of an attack by foreign forces on U.S. soil, the racial and political turmoil it caused, the expense it necessitated and the frustration it provoked—tell itself. It's a good story, even if it sounds painfully familiar.”—Charles Matthews, Houston Chronicle
Booklist

“A fast-moving and engrossing narrative. . . . [Welsome] provides a highly readable and informative account, which also offers interesting portraits of some key figures in the Mexican Revolution.”—Booklist

Houston Chronicle

“Welsome lets the story—of an attack by foreign forces on U.S. soil, the racial and political turmoil it caused, the expense it necessitated and the frustration it provoked—tell itself. It''s a good story, even if it sounds painfully familiar.”—Charles Matthews, Houston Chronicle

— Charles Matthews

New Mexico Magazine

“A well-paced narrative account. . . . The skillful manner in which Welsome chronicles these events should enthrall anyone interested in this period.”—New Mexico Magazine

BookLoons

"The General and The Jaguar explores the volatile issues of nationalism, patriotism, and revolutionary fervor. It also looks at the dangers of one country sending a military expedition--in pursuit of a presumed, singular threat to national security--into another hostile, foreign country for the purposes of removing a menace who has terrorized citizens. It also, by the way, examines the ways in which militarization of a border can cause unanticipated problems. Yes, Welsome has written brilliantly about an incident that occurred in the early twentieth century. But The General and The Jaguar seems strangely relevant to the early twenty-first century. See what you think."—BookLoons

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803222243
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 607,601
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Welsome is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist. Her first book, The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War, was the recipient of two PEN awards.
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Table of Contents


Prologue     1
The Attack
A Microbe Challenges an Elephant     13
A Diverting Brute     31
Veracruz     42
Downhill     49
Tell President Wilson to Save You     62
Only One Chance to Die     71
Rumors, Warnings, and Telegrams     81
Villa Is Coming Tonight, for Sure     97
The Fiddler Plays     108
Very Unnatural Deaths     136
The Hunt
To the End of the Furrow     155
Sunburn, Frostbite, and Blisters     173
Pershing's Indigestion     197
No One to Seek For     225
Revenge and Revival
Gasoline Baths and Confessions     237
Jerked to Jesus     249
A Ripe Pear     260
A Terrible Blunder     270
Whore Dust and a Rabid Dog     287
An Old Colonel     299
A Reborn Town     304
Victims or Bandits?     311
Death Comes for the Horsemen     318
Acknowledgments     336
Casualties of the Columbus Raid     338
Chronology     340
Notes     341
Selected Bibliography     387
Index     394
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