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Although not well known outside his native Mexico, Casasola (1874-1938) was one of the "early masters of photo-journalism," writes journalist and novelist Pete Hamill in his stirring and informative introduction to this unprecedented and invaluable collection of Casasola's powerful images of a country in violent transition. Little is known about Casasola himself--portrayed in one photograph hard at work in his darkroom with a pistol on his hip--except that he started out as a reporter, then, around 1900, switched from words to images just in time to masterfully document two cataclysmic events, the horrifically bloody Mexican Revolution and the world-altering Industrial Revolution. Casasola recorded it all, photographing rebel leaders Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, federal troops, rebel soldiers and the soldaderas (courageous women who cared for and fought beside them), and the dead. Possessed of a preternatural sense of the telling moment, Casasola also captured scenes sharply emblematic of the dawn of modernity on the busy streets of postwar Mexico City. Bursting with richly toned, page-filling plates and illuminating commentary, this is a must-have volume for the crucial history Casasola so poignantly illustrates, his artistry, and his profound humanity. Donna Seaman
Copyright ¬ American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Agustin Victor Casasola (1874-1938) was born in Mexico City. By 1900, he had dedicated himself entirely to photography and was contracted as a freelance photographer for numerous newspapers in Mexico City.
During the first four decades of the twentieth century, Mexico underwent revolutionary changes, politically, economically, and socially. Documenting those changes visually was a remarkable photographer, Agustin Victor Casasola, whose pictures of the period stand as works of enormous artistic and historical significance. Casasola photographed everyone who was anyone in Mexico at the time, from the dictator Porfirio Dfaz to Mexico's first republican president Benito Jußrez; from the revolutionaries Francisco (Pancho) Villa and Emiliano Zapata to artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, as well as the exiled Russian Leon Trotsky. New industry, booming city streets, raucous nightlife, and performers of all kinds captured his eye.
For this splendid collection of Casasola's work, the noted American writer Pete Hamill, who has lived in Mexico on and off for more than fifty years, has written a rich essay on the photographer and the Mexico he captured so well. Three other essays by distinguished Mexican scholars trace the history of the Casasola Archive and its acquisition by the Mexican government as a national treasure.