Hernández offers a brilliant, impeccably-researched, and engaging history of the lead up to the Mexican Revolution, whose impact on trade, immigration and international relations reverberates and impacts so many things even more than a century later ... With the pacing of an adventurous spy novel, Hernández tracks the malos Mexicanos around Mexico, into Laredo and San Antonio in Texas, St. Louis, and even Canada as they try to stay one step ahead of U.S. pursuers while fomenting a revolution in their homeland ... Hernández’s history lesson also says much about freedom of speech, journalistic suppression, and trumped up charges for acts done in the name of politics, not the violent banditry officials claimed they were ... Hernández has done an amazing service to historical narrative at a woefully undertaught subject of the Mexican Revolution. Something more Americans—and especially Texans—should know about.
Lytle Hernández is a natural storyteller, and her writing shines throughout Bad Mexicans. And while it reads like a novel — she proves to be masterful at building narrative suspense — it's also meticulously researched, and the author provides ample context to help readers understand the history of Mexico and its relationship with the U.S. ... An exemplary work of history, shining a light on a group of people whose courage and determination transformed a continent. It's a fascinating book by an author of immense intelligence and remarkable talent.
While Bad Mexicans is both thrilling and informative, it can become a tedious read for those without background knowledge of Mexican history, which is long and messy. It forces the reader to vigilantly keep track of the characters. I found myself rereading pages only to realize the person I thought I was following wasn’t present at all. Hernández carries us most of the way through, but it might require a bit of stamina (especially around the 300-page mark) not to lose sight of where she’s taking us. By the end of the hike, the view is clear ... Reading Bad Mexicans isn’t simply a history lesson, but a revelation of where Mexicans come from and who we are and a remembrance of those who fought for us ... They altered the history of Mexico and the United States not only for themselves but also for all of us. Kelly Lytle Hernández calls us to remember.