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- Order number: ISBN0-74900-300-6
This is a gripping story of mistreatment of Indians in Mexico just prior to the Revolution of 1910. The principal character is Candido, a poor Indian whose debts lead him to become a contact laborer cutting wood in the jungles of Southern Mexico. Life in these labor camps is cruel and oppressive, and one has little chance of escaping. The Anglo-Mexicans that run the plantation (Don Felix, Don Severo, Don Acacio) demand an impossible level of work from their Indian laborers; those that fail are beaten or hanged by their wrists as punishment. Having endured their employers' unfathomable cruelty, an unintended rebellion springs up when the opportunity arises. The workers realize that in the corrupt Mexican society such a rebellion is unlikely to succeed, but they feel a level of freedom just in trying.
This is the fifth and perhaps best of the jungle books by author B. Traven (1890-1969). Traven had great sympathy for the oppressed Indians, leftist views, and a very engaging style. Readers should also see Traven's other novels about Mexico and oppression, the most famous of which is TRESURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.