The Underdogs is a historical fiction novel written by the Mexican author Mariano Azuela. It was published on 1915 and is considered the classic novel for the Mexican Revolution. Azuela brilliantly reflects the events of the Mexican Revolution in a simple, yet very realistic novel.
In the novel, Azuela reflects his own experience of being a doctor in the Revolution and what it is like to fight in war, and treat those who were injured. The story talks about a man, Demetrio Macias, who starts training poor peasants and men who would like to fight in the war. They all join in the Mexican Revolution and war against the aristocrats. The surprising event is that one of the aristocrats realizes the oppression and destruction caused by the Federales (the enemies of the revolution) and helps the revolutionists. However, this does not last.
The Underdogs shows what it is like to fight in war, shows war and revolution in the eyes of the revolutionists themselves, giving it a different perspective that the normal one that is usually written in the news and in history books. It proves that most men join war because of a reason they don't really understand; it's simply their instinct.
Azuela's novel rapidly became very popular soon after it was published. It became the symbol of the Mexican Revolution. The Underdogs received many positive reviews. It earned a 3.6 out of a 5 star rating on Goodreads. Penguin.com wrote on its website: "Narrated with passion, filled with arresting character sketches, and haunted by the specter of blighted dreams, The Underdogs is an outstanding work of artistic and political realism, both speaking to the greatest hopes of mankind and lending credence to our deepest fears."
The Underdogs is recommended to historical fiction fans and to readers who gravitate to texts about wars, revolutions, and people's lives during those hards times.