The 10 Best Mexican History Books

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This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Whether you're a student looking to expand your knowledge, a professor who needs sources for a paper or new materials to teach from, or just an enthusiast who enjoys expanding your knowledge with the latest research, our list of books on Mexican history will help you find anything from a comprehensive overview dating from antiquity to a deep dive into a moment in the country's life. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. The Mexico Reader

2. A New Compact History of Mexico

3. Villa and Zapata

Editor's Notes

April 16, 2020:

To learn about Mexican history is to learn about ancient great civilizations, monumental power plays, game-changing invasions, wars, revolutions, and so much more. To get a sampling of all these, we curated a list that touched on everything from the Olmecs and Aztecs to the Mexican-American War, the Mexican Revolution, and current events. We placed sweeping histories like Mexico: Biography of Power, which looks at major political players who have shaped the country for better or for worse alongside reference texts such as The Course of Mexican History and concise ones like A New Compact History of Mexico.

We also wanted to provide a deeper dive into moments of the country's history, which is done exquisitely in both of our update's new additions, The Conquest of New Spain and The Irish Soldiers of Mexico. The former is a transporting firsthand account of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Because it comes from a solider in Cortes' army, readers will sadly not get the Aztec perspective, but it offers a trove of knowledge nonetheless. Another thing to note is that while the subject matter is fascinating, Bernal Diaz del Castillo was not a writer by trade, and so it lacks in style in places. The Irish Soldiers of Mexico is a bestselling retelling of a story often overlooked or completely ignored in the US. If you're wanting to dive into something that your school textbooks never covered, this is the book for you.

For lovers of war history books, there's Villa and Zapata and The Women's Revolution in Mexico. The latter takes a fresh perspective on a heavily covered period in Mexican history and provides interesting firsthand accounts and insight into daily life at the same time.

Special Honors

Babbel If a love of the culture has led you to brush up on your Mexican history, you might want to consider learning some basic Mexican Spanish as well. Babbel is a language learning app with meticulously designed courses that guarantee language skills you can use right away. It's ideal for those who'd like to have short conversations immediately, making it especially helpful for vacations, moving abroad, or talking with relatives.

Museo Nacional de Antropología Widely considered to be the best of Mexico City's museums, Museo Nacional de Antropología hosts permanent exhibitions divided into archaeology and ethnology, with 11 separate rooms dedicated to each, while temporary exhibitions are regularly curated and rotated in. If you can't visit, their website is the next best thing. It's a veritable treasure trove of information on collections and fascinating history.

4. The Irish Soldiers of Mexico

5. The Women's Revolution in Mexico

6. Mexico in World History

7. The Course of Mexican History

8. The Conquest of New Spain

9. Mexico: Biography of Power

10. The Olmecs

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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