Heroes of Mexico Critical Context - Essay

Morris Rosenblum

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Rosenblum correctly judges in his first chapter that many North Americans have a long way to go in learning about and appreciating the cultural contributions of Mexico and its heroes. The importance of a book such as Heroes of Mexico is that it introduces figures whose historical significance is well established in Mexico but who may be widely unknown in the United States, where the population and culture are becoming increasingly Hispanicized.

Rosenblum’s book is likely to secure a surer place in the North American consciousness for its subjects. Through the artists who are profiled, for example, Rosenblum undoubtedly has awakened many readers to an underrepresented side of Mexico and its worldwide importance as a source of creative innovation. The book also offers a more serious historical presentation of figures such as Zapata and Villa, whose sombrero-and-bandolier popular images have been projected in the United States primarily through films or folklore.

In his attempts to close the gap in understanding between many young readers and their fellow Americans, Rosenblum has expressed the emerging appreciation of cultural diversity in the United States. More important, perhaps, is Rosenblum’s presentation of Mexico’s heroes from the perspective of their importance to Mexico, and not primarily through their relationship—as ally or enemy, bandit or folk hero—to the United States.