Monday, February 17, 2014

Guiseppe Garibaldi's "A Toast to Rebellion" and the Mexican Revolution of 1910

Guiseppe Garibaldi posing in Russian Uniform
One of the little-known but movie-worthy aspects of Mexico's 1910 Revolution is the role of mercenaries-- American machine-gunners, Germans of various stripes, a Scandinavian (yes, really) and even an Italian of some fame: the self-styled "freedom fighter" Guiseppe Garibaldi II, whose hard-to-find memoir, A Toast to Rebellion, 1935, is now available for free at (Note: if you have trouble accessing it you might need to set up a free acount with openlibrary. My understanding is that the book is now in the public domain. Tip: you may be able to find a copy at

A few notes: The chapter "Viva Madero!" begins on page 219.

"But I never got to China...All unwittingly I arrived in Mexico on the eve of momentous events." 


Garibaldi describes the leader of the Revolution, Francisco I. Madero as:

"A small and unassuming man, with a twitch in his neck which caused his head to jerk nervously toward his frail left shoulder, he has been called an idealist and a dreamer, as if these were terms of reproach. Events have proved that he was too trusting, but he possessed an undaunted faith and a superb courage. His tragic end will forever remain a blot on Mexico's history."

p. 225
"Following the guide Orosco [sic] had sent into El Paso to escort us, we secretly crossed the Rio Grande and were led to the rebel camp hidden in the hills... Orosco awaited us standing up, his lean tall figure outlined against a low fire. He received us courteously enough, offered coffee all around, but I felt a latent hostility in his manner."

He is referring to Pascual Orozco, one of the leaders of the Revolution, who would later turn against Madero and ally himself with General Victoriano Huerta.

p. 231 Garibaldi meets Madero:

"You are Garibaldi," he said, stepping forward to seize my hand.
"Yes, Señor Presidente," I replied, for it was Madero.
... The President was thirty-seven, I was thirty-one, and most of the others were still younger. None but myself had any previous military experience. But that meeting marked the first decisive step in the victorious revolution which overthrew Díaz. Faith more than made up for youth and inexperience....

There is also a very interesting bit about the Titantic on p. 311 

In sum: rollicking good reading for anyone interested in an eyewitness account of the 1910 Revolution, and globe-trotting adventure. 

Strange that there were mercenaries in Mexico's Revolution? Not at all. A war is like a magnet-- everyone and anyone who wants action feels the pull. 

> For more about the Mexican Revolution of 1910, my book, Metaphysical Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual is now (Feb 2014) in Kindle and paperback. 

> The Spanish edition, Odisea metafísica hacia la revolución Mexicana, translated by Agustín Cadena, is forthcoming, I hope as soon as March. is also available.

> Your comments are always welcome. Write to me here.