To complete this assignment successfully you need to read the following materials
 Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman, Latin America and Its People. New York:
Pearson Longman, 2008, 361-366. (These pages are part of the reading assigned for
Week 6)
 Azuela, Mariano. The Underdogs. Picture and Scenes from the Present Revolution.
Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 2006. (PDF format in Canvas)
When reading Latin America and Its People, consider the effects that modernization brought to
rural people, in a harsh contrast to what occurred in the cities. What kind of impact did
modernization, and authoritarian regime produce to Mexican people that they finally decided to
take arms?
The “Underdogs” book is a historical novel, which means that the story it narrates occurred in a
real historical context, yet some of the characters were real and others fictional. The historical
context that “Underdogs” recreates is the Mexican Revolution, and it specifically illustrates the
lives of Mexican rural population during the most agitated years of warfare. You will be able to
see that some historical appear in the novel, although they are not the protagonists.
Reviewers of this historical novel are divided in their critiques. On one hand, some describe
“Underdogs” as revolutionary because it describes the condition of poverty, ignorance, and
dispossession of Mexican peasants. On the other hand, another group considers the novel as
counterrevolutionary because it highlights the barbarism, brutality, and even banditry of those
peasants who fought.
Considering these two opposite views of the Underdogs, how would you classify the novel? Do
you believe the men portrayed in the novel fought because of the main injustices they had
suffered from the powerful, or because they merely pursued personal and selfish objectives?

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