100 books like The Dead March

By Peter Guardino,

Here are 100 books that The Dead March fans have personally recommended if you like The Dead March. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Mexican National Army, 1822-1852

Stephen B. Neufeld Author Of The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876–1911

From my list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history.

Who am I?

My passion for Mexican and military history came from many sources. Wandering in my 20s in Europe and Asia honed my appreciation for the historical experience. Good friends in the Canadian military made me curious about the odd rituals and strange subcultures they inhabited. As I moved from Calgary to Vancouver to Tucson I devolved from degree to degree, studying deviance, military history, Mexican culture, and finally finishing a dissertation that combined these elements into one work. And now I happily get to inflict all of this history on my students in California.  

Stephen's book list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history

Stephen B. Neufeld Why did Stephen love this book?

While maybe a bit conventional, this is one of very few military history books that gets deeply into the army during this incredibly turbulent period. De Palo provides a clear and well-researched study that is sure to appeal to specialists and armchair buffs. It is especially good at describing the strengths and limitations of the armed forces at this time. He offers a reliable reference for an era of revolving door presidencies, coups, and foreign invasions.

By William A. DePalo Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mexican National Army, 1822-1852 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The army of thirty-five thousand that engineered Mexico's independence was a melting pot of insurgent and royalist forces held together by the lure of rapid promotions and other military remuneration. Overwhelmed with internal threats such as Indian skirmishes and peasant uprisings, this poorly motivated, ill-trained army seldom enjoyed the respite, resources, or direction necessary to overcome challenges to territorial sovereignty posed by Spain, France, Texas, and the United States during Mexico's first three decades of nationhood. William A. DePalo, Jr., studies the birth and tumultuous adolescence of the Mexican National Army and examines how regional, social, political, and economic factors…


Book cover of The Caste War of Yucatán

Stephen B. Neufeld Author Of The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876–1911

From my list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history.

Who am I?

My passion for Mexican and military history came from many sources. Wandering in my 20s in Europe and Asia honed my appreciation for the historical experience. Good friends in the Canadian military made me curious about the odd rituals and strange subcultures they inhabited. As I moved from Calgary to Vancouver to Tucson I devolved from degree to degree, studying deviance, military history, Mexican culture, and finally finishing a dissertation that combined these elements into one work. And now I happily get to inflict all of this history on my students in California.  

Stephen's book list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history

Stephen B. Neufeld Why did Stephen love this book?

Reed’s wonderful writing style and great turns of phrase make this an enjoyable read, while his attention to detail and excellent research make it requisite to understanding the long Caste War of the Maya after 1847. It is a critical antidote to works that pay too little attention to indigenous agents, to religious motivations, and to a long-simmering insurrection with vibrant cultural voices. Other works have taken this on since, but it remains a classic.

By Nelson A. Reed,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Caste War of Yucatán as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the classic account of one of the most dramatic episodes in Mexican history-the revolt of the Maya Indians of Yucatan against their white and mestizo oppressors that began in 1847. Within a year, the Maya rebels had almost succeeded in driving their oppressors from the peninsula; by 1855, when the major battles ended, the war had killed or put to flight almost half of the population of Yucatan. A new religion built around a Speaking Cross supported their independence for over fifty years, and that religion survived the eventual Maya defeat and continues today.

This revised edition is…


Book cover of Sons of the Sierra: Juárez, Díaz, and the People of Ixtlán, Oaxaca, 1855-1920

Stephen B. Neufeld Author Of The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876–1911

From my list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history.

Who am I?

My passion for Mexican and military history came from many sources. Wandering in my 20s in Europe and Asia honed my appreciation for the historical experience. Good friends in the Canadian military made me curious about the odd rituals and strange subcultures they inhabited. As I moved from Calgary to Vancouver to Tucson I devolved from degree to degree, studying deviance, military history, Mexican culture, and finally finishing a dissertation that combined these elements into one work. And now I happily get to inflict all of this history on my students in California.  

Stephen's book list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history

Stephen B. Neufeld Why did Stephen love this book?

McNamara’s wonderful account shows how communities in Oaxaca understood military service as both a duty to their region, to their people, and as a way to connect to the wider national project and specific presidents. Fighting for the National Guard created a different stake in Mexico and in political life, and the ways that Zapotec peasants remembered this gives new insights into participatory political culture. 

By Patrick J. McNamara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sons of the Sierra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The period following Mexico's war with the United States in 1847 was characterized by violent conflicts, as liberal and conservative factions battled for control of the national government. In ""Sons of the Sierra"", Patrick McNamara explores events in the Oaxaca district of Ixtlan, where Zapotec Indians supported the liberal cause and sought to exercise influence over statewide and national politics. Two Mexican presidents had direct ties to Ixtlan district: Benito Juarez, who served as Mexico's liberal president from 1858 to 1872, was born in the district, and Porfirio Diaz, president from 1876 to 1911, had led a National Guard battalion…


Book cover of The Power of God Against the Guns of Government: Religious Upheaval in Mexico at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

Stephen B. Neufeld Author Of The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876–1911

From my list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history.

Who am I?

My passion for Mexican and military history came from many sources. Wandering in my 20s in Europe and Asia honed my appreciation for the historical experience. Good friends in the Canadian military made me curious about the odd rituals and strange subcultures they inhabited. As I moved from Calgary to Vancouver to Tucson I devolved from degree to degree, studying deviance, military history, Mexican culture, and finally finishing a dissertation that combined these elements into one work. And now I happily get to inflict all of this history on my students in California.  

Stephen's book list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history

Stephen B. Neufeld Why did Stephen love this book?

This is a great book written by an accomplished scholar later in his career and confident in his research and writing. Telling the tale of the uprising, and crushing, of Tomochic village, Vanderwood zooms into the smaller details of village life and pans out to nation-level decisions with remarkable panache. In a highly enjoyable way, he brings the reader into the action without omitting the broader historical relevance. The reader may enter this for the critique of the dictator’s late nineteenth-century armies, but they will keep reading to find the fate of the unfortunate “town son of a bitch.” 

By Paul Vanderwood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power of God Against the Guns of Government as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the early 1890's, an armed rebellion fueled by religious fervor erupted over a wide area of northwestern Mexico. At the center of the outburst were a few hundred farmers from the village of Tomochic and a teenage folk saint named Teresa, who was ministering to thousands of people throughout the area. When the villagers proclaimed, "We will obey no one but God!," the Mexican government exiled "Santa Teresa" to the United States and trained its guns and bayonets on the farmers. A bloody confrontation ensued-God against government-that is still remembered in song, literature, films, and civic celebrations.

The tangled…


Book cover of Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847

Doug Hocking Author Of Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache

From my list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs.

Who am I?

Historian Doug Hocking grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation of New Mexico. He knows her peoples, towns, and trails. He has completed advanced studies in history, his first love, anthropology, and historical archaeology. Since retiring as an armored cavalry officer, Doug has owned his own business. With this background he has insight into America’s great commercial road, the Santa Fe Trail, and into battles and soldiering. He understands Apache lives as few others do.

Doug's book list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs

Doug Hocking Why did Doug love this book?

Teenaged and highly observant Susan spent her honeymoon on the Santa Fe Trail with her husband a Santa Fe trader as they accompanied the Army of the West on its invasion of Mexico. She provides a woman’s perspective and much more. At a time when very few women have trailed to New Mexico, Susan wrote of the amazing things she encountered giving us a woman’s perspective. 

By Susan Shelby Magoffin, Stella M. Drumm (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June 1846 Susan Shelby Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband, a veteran Santa Fe trader, on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and south to Chihuahua. Her travel journal was written at a crucial time, when the Mexican War was beginning and New Mexico was occupied by Stephen Watts Kearny and the Army of the West.

Her journal describes the excitement, routine, and dangers of a successful merchant's wife. On the trail for fifteen months, moving from house to house and town to town, she became…


Book cover of A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico

Andrew Lipman Author Of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast

From my list on the rise and fall of empires in North America.

Who am I?

I’m a born-and-bred New Englander and I teach history at Barnard College, Columbia University. I have always loved sailing and the ocean, so I’m fascinated with the early modern Age of Sail. My focus is the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic World, when the histories of the Americas, Europe, and Africa became permanently entangled. My first book, The Saltwater Frontier, won the Bancroft Prize in American History in 2016. My second book, The Life and Times of Squanto, is hitting bookshelves in Fall 2024. 

Andrew's book list on the rise and fall of empires in North America

Andrew Lipman Why did Andrew love this book?

This is a delightful, novelistic read on the U.S.-Mexico War.

When the United States invaded Mexico on thin pretenses in 1846, it resulted in a massive annexation of territory while, at the same, sparking a genuine anti-war protest movement. Amy Greenberg puts Henry Clay, James K. Polk, and Abraham Lincoln at the center of the story. Her book sheds new light on the origins of the Civil War and the evolution of American empire.

By Amy S. Greenberg,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Wicked War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Our 1846 war with Mexico was a blatant land grab provoked by President James Polk. And while it secured the entire Southwest and California for America, it also exacerbated regional tensions over slavery, created the first significant antiwar movement in America, and helped lead the nation into civil war. A Wicked War is the definitive history of this conflict that turned America into a continental power. Amy Greenberg describes the battles between American and Mexican armies, but also delineates the political battles between Democrats and Whigs—the former led by the ruthless Polk, the latter by the charismatic Henry Clay, and…


Book cover of The Hacienda

Lucy Blue Author Of The Devil Makes Three

From my list on hauntings.

Who am I?

As a goth chick from the American South, I’m obsessed with stories of old evil from the past finding its way into the present. I even live in a haunted house, a disintegrating Craftsman built in 1901. Our ghosts are very cozy, two cat-loving maiden ladies who were co-presidents of the local temperance society. We’ve given up on keeping liquor in our liquor cabinet; bottles cracking and leaking, glassware broken for no reason. And we’ve gotten so used to seeing and hearing their famous cat, Tom, we barely react anymore—a huge orange tabby tomcat who runs past our feet and jumps on the foot of our bed. 

Lucy's book list on hauntings

Lucy Blue Why did Lucy love this book?

I just finished this book, and it nourished my soul. The time frame and setting—Mexico in the early 1820s, just after the war for independence—were new to me. But the story of a fierce but delicate bride fighting ghosts in her new and unloved husband’s crumbling mansion pushed all my favorite goth girl buttons. The author does a fantastic job of making that world come to life without a single historical info dump. We know and we care about the history and politics because Beatriz, our heroine, knows and cares, and we care so much about her from the very first page. Strange rituals, surly servants, forbidden romance, a furious ghost—this book has it all. 

By Isabel Cañas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hacienda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...

During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
 
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

When…


Book cover of In the Rogue Blood

Alden Bell Author Of The Reapers Are the Angels

From my list on in the tradition of William Faulkner.

Who am I?

As a writer, I’ve been deeply influenced by Southern literature—especially the work of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. Even though I’m not from the South myself, I am drawn to Southern writers’ immodesty. I believe much of contemporary literature is too timid. It is about the mundane, the everyday.  It does not elevate; instead, it diminishes.  Much of the literature of the South is biblical in its sensibilities.  It is unafraid to deal with the big universal issues with language that is equally big and universal.  It does not pander to modesty or postmodern selfconsciousness. It is audacious. It’s the kind of writing that made me want to write.

Alden's book list on in the tradition of William Faulkner

Alden Bell Why did Alden love this book?

Mixing Faulkner’s gothic language with McCarthy’s sense of history, Blake writes a story of two brothers torn apart by circumstance and their experiences in the Mexican-American War.  Blake captures that sense of aimless wandering that echoes Faulkner’s stories—the rootless characters meandering across the country, not only unsure of their destinations but maybe even indifferent to them. To me, one of the most profound twists in the book is that the brothers don’t seem to care which side of the war they participate in. They are itinerants whose purpose in the world is simply circumstantial; they are instruments of universal forces that they neither question nor understand. 

By James Carlos Blake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Rogue Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The offspring of a whore mother and a homicidal father, Edward and John Little are driven from their home in the Florida swamplands by a sching parent's treacheries, and by a shameful, horrific act that will haunt their dreams for the rest of their days. Joining the swelling ranks of the rootless--wandering across an almost surreal bloodland populated by the sorrowfully lost and defiantly damned--two brothers are separated by death and circumstance in the lawless "Dixie City" of New Orelans, and dispatched by destiny to opposing sides in a fierce and desperate territorial struggled between Mexico and the United States.…


Book cover of La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa / My Journey with Papa

Nicki Cornwell Author Of Christophe's Story

From my list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war.

Who am I?

Two books that I read as a young child were very important to me. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss made me think about riches, poverty, and the power that rich people have to make stupid rules; and poor people have no choice but to obey them. The Japanese Twins from Lucy Fitch Perkins' series on twins from different cultures gave me a life-long interest in cultural differences. Not only did they think differently, depending on their culture, they also had different skin colours. Later I learned about racism when I worked with unhappy displaced children and interpreted for asylum-seekers. I write from a child's perspective, making books accessible to all ages.

Nicki's book list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war

Nicki Cornwell Why did Nicki love this book?

I learned from this story why families make the difficult decision to split up and send a father and a child on a dangerous journey for a better life. This family lives in Mexico, facing hunger and destitution. The father and his son became migrants. They walked to America, knowing that they could be split up or one of them die.

In this book, I learned about the Mexican-American War, and the atrocious US policy of splitting migrant children from their parents.

By Deborah Mills,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked La Frontera as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join a young boy and his father on a daring journey from Mexico to Texas to find a new life. They'll need all the resilience and courage they can muster to safely cross the border - la frontera - and to make a home for themselves in a new land. AGES: 8 to 10 AUTHORS: Alfredo Alva is a stonemason from La Ceja, Mexico. He and his family live in Texas, where he designs architectural details from stone for local architects. He met Deborah Mills while working on a local architecture project, and they worked together to write his story…


Book cover of The Squatter and the Don

Carrie Gibson Author Of El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America

From my list on Hispanic writers everyone should know.

Who am I?

Carrie Gibson is a London-based writer who grew up in the US and spends as much time as she can in Latin America and the Caribbean. She started out as a journalist, working at UK newspapers, including the Guardian and the Observer, before diving into a PhD and historical research on European colonialism and its legacy in the Americas. She is the author of two books and continues to contribute to media outlets in the UK and US.

Carrie's book list on Hispanic writers everyone should know

Carrie Gibson Why did Carrie love this book?

María Amparo Ruiz de Burton lived through one of the most tumultuous periods of history in California. She was born in Baja California to an elite family but moved to Mexican Alta California, as it was then known, during the Mexican-American War, marrying US army captain Henry Burton and becoming a US citizen. Ruiz de Burton watched California’s transformation under US rule, and this 1885 novel uses fiction to lay bare the very real problem of land dispossession of the Mexican Californians (known as Californios) and the arrival of ‘squatters’ from the eastern US who were claiming contested property. Ruiz de Burton is considered to be one of the earliest Mexican-American female authors to write in English, and this work illustrates how Alta California’s transition to statehood upended the lives of many people who had lived there under Spanish and Mexican rule.

By Maria Amparo Ruiz De Burton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Squatter and the Don as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Squatter and the Don, originally published in San Francisco in 1885, is the first fictional narrative written and published in English from the perspective of the conquered Mexican population that, despite being granted the full rights of citizenship under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, was, by 1860, a subordinated and marginalized national minority.


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