Pancho Villaby Steven O'Brien
Born in 1878, Villa began life as a humble peasant but rebelled against the cruelty of Mexico's landowners and fled to the rugged Sierra Madre. In the
In the early years of the 20th century, the cry "Viva Villa!" rang out across northern Mexico, bringing terror to the rich and hope to the poor: Pancho Villa--outlaw, revolutionary, and folk hero--was on the march.
Born in 1878, Villa began life as a humble peasant but rebelled against the cruelty of Mexico's landowners and fled to the rugged Sierra Madre. In the wild and lawless mountains he became a bandit leader, robbing trains and raiding ranches, creating the legend of a modern-day Robin hood. When the Mexican Revolution erupted in 1910, Villa gave uo banditry to join the fight for freedom. In 1913, a string of spectacular victories made him the ruler of northern Mexico and a worldwide celebrity. But Villa was soon embroiled in Mexico's bloody power struggles, and his raids across the border aroused the enmity of the U.S. government. By 1919, his military magic had deserted him: after a crushing defeat on the battlefield, he retired and became a rancher.
In 1923, Villa drove his car into an ambush set up by his enemies and died in a hail of bullets. Decades later, he remains one of the most vivid figures in the history of the Americas.
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