Henderson, Timothy J.
Henderson, Timothy J.
Home—Department of History, Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL 36124. E-mail—[email protected]
Historian, educator, and writer. Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL, professor of history.
The Worm in the Wheat: Rosalie Evans and Agrarian Struggle in the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley of Mexico, 1906-1927, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1998.
(Editor, with Gilbert M. Joseph) The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2002.
Historian Timothy J. Henderson's first book, The Worm in the Wheat: Rosalie Evans and Agrarian Struggle in the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley of Mexico, 1906-1927, was called "colorfully written, carefully researched, and often highly entertaining" by Labor History contributor Cheryl E. Martin. The book focuses on Rosalie Caden Evans, a landowner along with her British husband, who set out to protect her 300-year-old hacienda San Pedro Coxtocan from being taken over by local peasants and others after her husband's death in 1917, seven years after the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Evans used everything within her means, including appealing to local government leaders in Mexico as well as to American and British officials, to remain owner of the valuable hacienda and the surrounding lands. As Henderson points out, Evans claimed that her mission was about more than her ownership rights but also about principles and the rights of the individual in a civilized society. Evans was eventually killed by gunfire when she was out riding one day in her buggy.
"In The Worm in the Wheat, Timothy J. Henderson uses the history of one foreign landowner's struggle against the postrevolutionary Mexican government to present the conflicts that resulted from Mexico's agrarian reform programme," noted Kristina A. Boyle in the Journal of Latin American Studies. In his review of The Worm in the Wheat, Martin noted in Labor History that the author "displays an exceptionally fine-tuned sensitivity to the complexity of Rosalie Evans's times," adding: "He skillfully leads his readers through the tangled web of agrarian politics in Puebla with all of its opportunistic and idealistic threads, while not losing sight of relevant contemporary events in Mexico City and abroad, so that even readers with little background in Mexican history can follow the narrative."
Henderson served as the editor, with Gilbert M. Joseph, of The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. The book presents numerous writings to provide the reader with both a general history of Mexico and a view of its culture, from the time of the Aztec Empire to the present day. Among the contributors are noted Mexican writers Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz. The authors also include famous texts such as Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata's "Plan de Ayala." "This work is ideal for general readers," wrote Jay Freeman in Booklist. Journal of Latin American Studies contributor Patience A. Schell pointed out: "Through its focus on the remarkable lives and achievements of ordinary people, The Mexico Reader provides examples of how historical and contemporary actors have challenged their situations and continue to do so, chronicling the achievements and struggle of average Mexicans."
In A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and Its War with the United States, Henderson presents the Mexican-American War of of 1846-1848 from the perspective of the Mexicans. The author discusses such issues as why Mexico decided to go to war and why, after the United States was victorious, U.S. government leaders decided not to take possession of Mexico and incorporate it into the ever-growing United States. Brad Hooper, writing in Booklist, referred to A Glorious Defeat as a "unique contribution to the literature of the era." Library Journal contributor Stephen H. Peters commented that the book "fills a gap in the literature and will be appreciated" by both the general public and history students and scholars.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Agricultural History, winter, 2000, Alexander S. Dawson, review of The Worm in the Wheat: Rosalie Evans and Agrarian Struggle in the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley of Mexico, 1906-1927, p. 104.
American Historical Review, April, 2000, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 586.
Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, July, 1999, David G. LaFrance, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 130.
Booklist, January 1, 2003, Jay Freeman, review of The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics, p. 840; January 1, 2007, Brad Hooper, review of A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and Its War with the United States, p. 46.
California Bookwatch, July, 2007, review of A Glorious Defeat.
Choice, May, 1999, D. Baldwin, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 1673; September, 2003, M.R. Lara, review of The Mexico Reader, p. 214.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, July, 2005, Timothy E. Anna, review of The Mexico Reader.
Hispanic American Historical Review, November, 1999, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 770; February, 2004, Eric Zolov, review of The Mexico Reader, p. 127.
Journal of Latin American Studies, May, 2000, Kristina A. Boylan, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 574; February, 2005, Patience A. Schell, review of The Mexico Reader, p. 178.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2007, review of A Glorious Defeat, p. 111.
Labor History, November 1, 1999, Cheryl E. Martin, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 581.
Library Journal, April 1, 2007, Stephen H. Peters, review of A Glorious Defeat, p. 101.
Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2007, review of A Glorious Defeat, p. 157.
Rural Sociology, September, 2000, Pilar-Alicia Parra, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 527.
Times Literary Supplement, February 26, 1999, review of The Worm in the Wheat, p. 33.
Duke University Press,http://www.dukeupress.edu/ (August 20, 2007), brief profile of author.