Mexico at War
From the Struggle for Independence to the 21st-Century Drug Wars
by David F. Marley
August 2014, 615pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-427-8
$110, £85, 96€, A151
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-428-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Pancho Villa rose from illiterate bandit to leader of 50,000 in just a few years.

A comprehensive overview of Mexico's military history from 1810 to the present day, including rare facts and information not found online.

Mexico’s past is riddled with stories of struggle—military battles, internal rebellions, revolutions, and drug wars. This in-depth reference provides a complete military history of that country since its War of Independence in 1810 through the present day. From the evolution of combat in the region, to the motivations and tensions behind recurrent conflicts, to the dubious beginnings of drug gangs and warlords, this is the only book of its kind to explore Mexican warfare in such great depth.

This detailed study consists of an alphabetical compilation of roughly 300 entries dealing with different facets of hostile encounters throughout the country’s history. In addition to covering key places and people, regional expert and author David F. Marley offers unique insights into more obscure topics such as the 1913 aerial bombardments at the port of Guaymas, visits from American luminaries, colorful Mexican military slang, and the songs that identify various political factions. The work includes a host of important historical documents, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography to encourage further research on the subject.


  • Contains 300 entries covering every aspect of military history ranging from weapons to terminology to practices
  • Includes a wealth of hard-to-find information compiled and translated from obscure Mexican and French sources
  • Features key primary sources, including 10 of the most important documents related to the military history of Mexico
  • Reveals the role music played in creating and establishing personal, military, and national identities
David F. Marley is a historian who lived in Mexico City for more than three decades, formerly researching and teaching at the Colegio de Mexico and Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the New World, 1492 to the Present and Historic Cities of the Americas: An Illustrated Encyclopedia.


"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, March 24, 2015
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