Item description for General From The Jungle by Bruno Traven...
One of Bruno Traven's novels (jungle series) about the Mexican Revolution and the State of Chiapas where a simple Indian becomes the leader (known as The General) of a band of Indians who out maneuver the Mexican army and take their weapons (machine guns become the big prize), turning them against their oppressors. "Tierra y Libre" (Land and Liberty) is their rallying cry! Both the Indians and common Mexicans (peons) continue their class struggle and liberation from the ruling elite. Traven brings you to the edge in this incredible story that you will never forget. A Collector's Edition.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.6" Width: 5.6" Height: 1" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2007
Publisher Synergy International of the Americas, Ltd
ISBN 193456804X ISBN13 9781934568040
Availability 59 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 07:55.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about General From The Jungle?
B. Traven Dec 25, 2007
I am half way through the six "Jungle Novels" and I find that Traven is a bit of a mixture of Hemmingway and Steinbeck, with a James Michner approach to historical narrative. This is the best way I have found yet to see inside prerevolution Mexico; to understand why it happened and why Mexico is the way it is, in many ways, today still the same.
Liberation comes at last, but man's heart remains dark May 11, 2005
This book is the sixth of Ben Traven's Jungle Novels. If you read all six, you would have completed around 1500 pages. Is it worth it? I would like to answer that question by reflecting on "General from the Jungle" and then reflecting on the entire series as a whole.
General From the Jungle is about revolution. It is about the strategy of warfare and the strategy of reaching the hearts and minds of peasants. It tells the tale of 600 debt slave Indians who emerge from totally inhumane work conditions on mahogany plantations to take over farms and villages until they hear that the dictator of Mexico, Diaz, has escaped to England.
Many of the characters from previous stories are here again. Cleso, Modesta, Andreas are all here. However a new character, Juan Mendez arrives, a young Indian chieftan with military training, who leads this rag tag band to victory after victory against the federales and rurales.
But remember that Traven's idology drives the story and many of our old friends from the previous novels only play bit parts, since the general and the revolution are actually the main characters. As General Mendez wins small victory after small victory, ever increasing military forces are sent against him. It is the psychology of the defeated Mexican military officers that offers fascinating reading in this final novel. As Traven brings the book to an end, he must bring nasty disgrace, complete misery, and painful torture to the Mexican military officers that are defeated by the revolution. The final chapters of the book are fascinating and painful to read since Traven must establish a sense of justice by balancing the evil done ot the Indians with the violence of disgrace against the Mexican military officers. Men have the ability to paln and implement the most disgraceful and demeaning tortures for each other which wring the last drops of human dignity from the victims. The book is fascinating and the final third is so engrossing that you can't put the book down.
Once you have finished the 6 books however you can look back at the strengths and weaknesses of this massive literary work. There are real strengths to this series. Traven's writing is spare and to the point. Yet he spends time telling the reader about the culture and psychology of the oppressor and the oppressed. You will understand debt slavery and the minds of the masters and slaves thoroughly when you finish the series. Traven was driven however to illustrate his world view and ideology and thus his characters are somewhat like puppets to illustrate his views about dictatorship, and racism, and man's inhumanity to his fellow man.
The 6 novels shine brightest when he allows himself to fully explore man's inhumanity to man. Here Traven knows the depth of sadism and the depths of depersonalization for those who are victims of abuse and torture. Traven recognizes that those in power become just as miserable as their victims when power corrupts them and enhances their sadism.
Thus in the end, it is when Traven wishes to make an ideological point that he ignores character and his writing is at the weakest (despite the fact that his message is extremely valid). It is when he has man face man in psychologial confrontation of oppressor and oppressed, victim and torturer, master and slave, that he reveals his exceptional insight into the depths of human cruelty.
This final novel deserves 5 stars and the entire series deserves five stars also. These books are underestimated masterpieces.
Tierra y Libertad! Jan 9, 2001
Land and Liberty is all they wanted. It was something that most had prior to colonialism. Most of us today were lucky enough to have already been born with these rights having been fought for and defended against by previous generations. [Of course some could argue that we have only a facsimile of land and liberty even today as most never own their land (e.g., mortgage) and liberty is a relative term.] Anyhow, this book is the last in the 6 part series. The culmination of all previous books ends here. This is the guts and glory and revenge of the indians on the landowners and government. Tierra y Libertad!