The war that was fought between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 was a major event in the history of both countries: it cost Mexico half of its national territory, opened western North America to U.S. expansion, and brought to the surface a host of tensions that led to devastating civil wars in both countries. Among generations of Latin Americans, it helped to cement the image of the United States as an arrogant, aggressive, and imperialist nation, poisoning relations between a young America and its southern neighbors.
In contrast to many current books, which treat the war as a fundamentally American experience, Timothy J. Henderson offers a fresh perspective by looking closely at the Mexican side of the equation. He examines the tremendous inequalities of Mexican society and provides a greater understanding of the intense factionalism and political paralysis leading up to and through the war. Also touching on a range of topics from culture and ethnicity to religion and geography, this comprehensive yet concise narrative humanizes the conflict and serves as the perfect introduction for new readers of Mexican history.