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International acclaim from historians and authors

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Welcome to our site. We hope you’ll sign up to follow our blog, and click to share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. You can learn more details about the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico by clicking the link for the title to see international acclaim from historians and authors, and where you can “look inside” the Kindle version on Amazon. Thanks.PORTADA Abraham Lincoln and Mexico

Build bridges, not walls

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Annual friendship celebration on Juàrez y Lincoln International bridge at Laredo/Nuevo Laredo –Photo courtesy of Jorge Haynes

The 28 bridges across the Rio Grande between the USA and Mexico are proof of positive and longstanding relationships between people in the two countries. In addition, the Juàrez y Lincoln International bridge based on Abraham Lincoln’s friendship with Mexico is a tangible symbol of binational relationships the Lincoln and Mexico Project hopes to build.

Three “bridge builders” who recently joined our international advisory group have strong commitments to education and improving relationships between Mexico and the USA. Together, they give a big boost to our outreach efforts to inform and educate people about historic relationships based on the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico. The book uses archival documents to examine Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico as Congressman and as President, including helping exiled Mexican president Benito Juàrez end French occupation of Mexico in the 1860s.

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Janet Heinze is the recently-retired director of the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, where historian and educator Michael Hogan taught the Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) course that inspired his book. The ASFG began in 1908 and is one of 193 schools abroad sponsored by the US Department of State. During her tenure, the ASFG expanded its commitment to the highest quality education in a bilingual, bicultural, and secular environment. Now, she’s an education consultant based in Guadalajara and working to improve curriculum and teaching standards at schools throughout Mexico and Latin America. And she’s agreed to help LAMP with outreach to a number of schools, including working with educators to get the book into classroom discussions using lesson plans developed and vetted by APUSH teachers and students. She has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and has a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in International Teaching.

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Jorge Haynes recently retired as Senior Director for External Relations in the California State University Chancellor’s Office at Long Beach, which oversees the nation’s largest public university system with 23 campuses and a 2016 enrollment of 478,638 students. He’s still active as a board member of two other education entities in California, including the Families in Schools organization based in Los Angeles. A Texas native now retired to his home state, he also works with the Texas Association of Businesses and the Mexican Consul as a member of the Aguila Alliance, a support group for trade with Mexico. Now, he’s agreed to help LAMP connect with education and civic leaders from California across the Southwest to Texas. He earned his B.A. in Political Science and Government from CSU-Sacramento.

“As kids growing up on the border in Laredo, we were taught that President Juàrez was a Lincolnesque president of Mexico,” says Haynes. “In fact, every February during President’s Day celebration, there is a ceremony on the Juàrez y Lincoln International bridge to commemorate the close ties of our two countries.”

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Sylvia Noemi Contreras is dedicated to sharing Mexican and Spanish heritage with Californians, and travels extensively in both Mexico and the USA. In 2010, she joined Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum, Rancho Dominguez, CA (near Long Beach) as a volunteer docent. Its history dates to the year 1784, and was the first land grant in Southern California. The rancho was also the site of an important battle in the Mexican-American War on October 8-9, 1846, in which 50 Californio Lancer troops defeated more than 200 invasionary US Marines. She’s also a docent at Banning Museum in Wilmington, CA, an 1864 Greek revival style house. Its history includes that Dominguez sold land to Banning. Further, Banning, considered “Father of Port of Los Angeles Harbor,” was critical in planning the Los Angeles railroad that runs through Dominguez land. Both museums are on the National Register of Historical Landmarks and are also California Landmarks (#152 and #147 respectively).

Now, she’s helping LAMP with outreach to museums, libraries, and schools throughout southern California. She earned a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix in 1997, and participates in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU Dominguez Hills, where the campus is built on land donated by the Dominguez family estate. As a California realtor, she also educates the public to the fact that California is a community property state because its practice is derived from Spanish law. Showing historical properties is a favorite part of her business as it leads to talks about yesteryear’s lifestyles.

At the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP), we believe one of the keys to success is connecting with people who share enthusiasm for the same goals. With their background and enthusiasm, Janet and Jorge and Sylvia are helping LAMP become an international movement to inform and educate people on both sides of the border about the history of Lincoln’s friendships with Mexico. In the coming weeks, we’ll profile more members of the LAMP advisory group.

If you’re a “bridge builder,” and want to build better relationships between the USA and Mexico, we invite you to become part of the project. Just submit a comment to the blog, or send an email to the LAMP co-founder mikel.miller09@yahoo.com, and we’ll get in touch with you. Thanks.

P.S. If you don’t already have a copy of the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico, the English version is available online from Barnes&Noble http://bit.ly/2sx2oEs and from Amazon http://amzn.to/2jQRPnI. The Spanish version is also available from Amazon US http://amzn.to/2n7minY and Amazon Mexico http://amzn.to/2s3dqRS.

Students Inspired the Book

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Students at The American School Foundation of Guadalajara with historian and educator Michael Hogan

It’s always interesting to learn what inspired an author to write a book. For historian and educator Michael Hogan, students in a history class he was teaching inspired him to research and write his latest book.

The resulting book, Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships, is now in the Lincoln presidential library. Washington DC author and book blogger Deborah Kalb featured the book in May 2017, and here are some excerpts from her Q&A interview with Dr. Hogan:

Q: Why did you decide to focus on Abraham Lincoln and Mexico in your new book? A. I was teaching an Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) class at the American School Foundation in Guadalajara, Mexico back in 2013. One weekend, my students went to see Lincoln, the movie directed by Stephen Spielberg. 

 After they came back to class, I asked them how the movie dealt with Lincoln’s speech in Congress objecting to the Mexican War. I had told the students earlier in class about how it was a very courageous act. They told me that there was nothing at all about it in the movie. 

 When I expressed my annoyance, one student by the name of Luciana Mendez, said, ‘Well, if anyone is going to tell the story about Lincoln and Mexico, maybe you should be the one to do it.’ So, I took her advice and began my research.”

You can click here to see the entire Q&A by Kalb. By the way, she’s a respected author of several books, including a history of presidential decision-making during the Vietnam War co-authored with her father, veteran journalist Marvin Kalb.

Hogan’s book was published in 2016 by an academic publisher in Guadalajara and the first edition paperback sold out, with a second edition now available in Mexico. A small press publisher in San Diego published a USA Kindle version in 2016, followed by a paperback version distributed worldwide by Ingram. The print versions are available from Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, and on Amazon. It’s in several university libraries and public libraries, and has received national news media attention including a feature article in the Smithsonian magazine.

An audio book version is also available, and now, the book is available in Spanish in both paperback and Kindle versions.

So, what else did Dr. Hogan’s APUSH class inspire? Well, one thing is a play based on the second half of the book, which examines Lincoln’s role as President in helping Mexico defeat French forces and end European occupation of North America. Titled “Lincoln and Mexico: The Untold Story,” the play has wowed audiences in Guadalajara and nearby Lake Chapala. We covered that in a recent blog post, which you can see by clicking here.

The interest of Dr. Hogan’s students in learning about Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico also led to creation of the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP). In January 2017, the Mexican Embassy in Washington DC embraced the international project to facilitate understanding of historical relationships between the two countries. Now, LAMP is working with Mexican consulates to contact educators and civic and business leaders across the USA and arrange presentations.

If you’re interested in becoming part our outreach efforts, just submit a comment to the blog or write an email to the LAMP co-founder at mikel.miller09@yahoo.com. As always, we welcome your feedback. Thank you.

 

Lincoln Play Wows Little Theatre

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If you want to see the strength of mutual friendships between the USA and Mexico, look at Lake Chapala, Mexico—the largest community of USA expats in the country.

This past weekend, expats and Mexicans alike stood and applauded and cheered as high school students from nearby Guadalajara staged two performances of the play “Lincoln and Mexico: The Untold Story” celebrating bi-national friendships that helped Mexico defeat French occupation forces in 1867.

Critic Mark Sconce recommended the student play to Lakeside Little Theatre president Peter Luciano after seeing students perform it in March at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, where historian and playwright Michael Hogan is emeritus humanities chair. After the May 19-20 performances at Lake Chapala, Sconce wrote a piece for a forthcoming issue of El Ojo del Lago magazine describing the lakeside event Saturday night. Here’s part of it:

The Little Theatre was jam-packed with gringos and Mexicans. Excited chatter filled the hall and patio. You could tell that something special was about to happen.

When the chime sounded, we all took our seats and paid attention to Peter. He said that tonight’s performance represented a major move for the 50-year-old theatre, a move to create a long-term relationship with the ASFG, one of the top 15 American schools in the world. He praised the kids, the school’s drama department, especially its fantastic director Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea, the author/playwright, and then (bombshell) announced that the Board had decided therefore that all the proceeds from the two performances would be given the school’s drama department. Cheers rang out loud and clear.

Then it was Dr. Hogan’s turn, and beside him stood a young woman of perhaps 21. A thunderous applause ensued and continued and got louder with sustained cheers. A somewhat embarrassed Hogan thanked us all and introduced Luciana Mendez, one of his longtime students, who had just flown in from Chicago where she now attends DePaul University. He explained that without the nagging of Luciana, he would never have completed the book or begun the play. She was his muse. The Luciana character actually appeared in the play, and yes, she nagged and cajoled.”

The play focuses on the friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Matìas Romero, the Mexican ambassador to Washington without portfolio after the French Imperial Army forced Mexican president Benito Juárez into exile in 1862. As president, Abraham Lincoln was preoccupied with the US Civil War, with little time for anything else.

From Romero’s journals, playgoers learned that Mrs. Lincoln was happy to have Romero squire her on frequent shopping trips. Lincoln thanked Romero for that, befriended Romero, and rewarded him with access to General Grant who was sympathetic to Mexico. That led the US to supply Juárez with military equipment and troops, and opened doors to bankers from Boston to San Francisco who bought Mexican bonds. Here’s a little more of Sconce wrote:

“The play itself was better than the performance I saw in Guadalajara, in this writer’s opinion. Of course, the kids knew their lines cold, so the acting was better. Mary Todd in Susie’s Millinery Shop was a thigh-slapper. The play was a huge hit, the ovations rolled on. Hugs and kisses and tears of joy prevailed. It was a Triumph of the first water for Dr. Hogan. He was caught up in the evening and he was celebrated…What a night!”

We salute Sconce for his efforts to arrange for the play at Lake Chapala, because the play informs and educates–and entertains–people about Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico. If you’re interested in looking at the play script for a possible performance at your community theatre, or perhaps your college or high school, we would be happy to send a review copy. Just submit a comment to this blog post, or send an email to the Lincoln and Mexico co-founder at mikel.miller09@yahoo.com. Since the play debuted in March, we’ve received inquiries from local theatre groups in Arizona and California.

The whole story of Lincoln’s support for Mexico, including a factual history of Lincoln’s opposition to the Mexican-American War as Congressman, is in the book “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships” authored by Hogan. It’s based on archival documents in both the US and Mexico, and it’s in the Abraham Lincoln presidential library and many university libraries.

We believe the book, and now the play, can promote better relations between the two countries. Paperback and Kindle versions are available online from Amazon in English http://amzn.to/2jQRPnI and Spanish http://amzn.to/2n7minY, and the paperback is available from Barnes&Noble and other bookstores.

P.S. Here’s another interesting tidbit: In 1974, Mexico recognized the importance of Romero’s contributions to foreign affairs by naming its formal foreign service training academy Instituto Matìas Romero. Retired Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon revealed this fact to the LLT audience just before curtain time in his brief remarks praising the book and the play. ¡Bravo!

Slideshow: photos from Lakeside Little Theatre at Lake Chapala, Mexico — oldest English-language stage theatre in Mexico.

In the Heart of Texas

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Slideshow photos from May 4 Texas-Mexico Summit in Austin, Texas

If the book Abraham and Lincoln in Mexico can make it in Texas, it can make it anywhere (to paraphrase Frank Sinatra’s song about New York).

That’s why we appreciate the warm welcome in Austin May 4 at the 2017 Texas-Mexico Summit, hosted by AEM, Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos Austin. The event featured 16 stellar speakers who received the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico as a gift.

“I can’t wait to read this book,” Jeff Moseley, CEO, Texas Association of Business, told the audience as he received the book from Jorge Euran, President of AEM Austin. Euran presented books individually to each speaker at the podium after they spoke.

The book uses original archival documents to examine Lincoln’s support for Mexico as Congressman and President, and it’s in the Lincoln Presidential Library and in a growing number of university libraries. It helps understand historic relationships between Mexico and the USA, and facilitates discussion of how to build better relationships between the two countries.

More than 125 people attended the sold-out Austin event to discuss building stronger binational businesses, including Carlos Gonzalez Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in Austin. The keynote speaker was George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner – the AEM Facebook page even has a video of Bush receiving the book https://www.facebook.com/AEMAUSTIN/videos/1913715565509767/.

The event featured a panel discussion titled Strategic Importance of Mexico to Texas Trade & Economy with panelists Samuel Pena, Undersecretary for Investment & Industry of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Bryan Daniel, Executive Director, Economic Development & Tourism for the State of Texas; Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, President & CEO, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; and Olivia Varela, Executive Director, Laredo Development Foundation.

Other featured speakers receiving the book included Rafael Herrera, Chairman at AEM USA; Adriana Cruz, President, Greater San Marcos Partnership; William Hurley, American entrepreneur; and Raul Allegre, legendary professional football player and sportscaster. Special guests included Jorge Salcido Zugasti, Consul Asuntos Politicos y Economicos, Consulado General de Mexico Austin.

Cindy A. Medina, PR and News Media representative for the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP), arranged for the complimentary books from historian and educator Michael Hogan and spent all day networking with attendees. It’s part of her ongoing outreach to build support for LAMP activities, including speaking to business and civic groups in Austin, El Paso, and other Texas cities, and across the border in northern Mexico.

In January of this year, the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC embraced LAMP activities, and former Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon is helping coordinate LAMP contacts with Mexican consulates across the country. This summer, LAMP will enter a new phase to identify surrogate speakers for events in key cities including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, and New York City.

If you’re interested in becoming involved in LAMP outreach activities, maybe even become a surrogate speaker, just send an email to LAMP co-founder at mikel.miller09@yahoo.com. We welcome your interest and your support.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

Photo credits: Battle of Puebla courtesy of Wikipedia; White House South Lawn celebration with Bush from Time magazine; East Room celebration with Biden and Obama from AP.

People celebrating May 5 in the United States may not know the history of the date, and the special significance in Mexico. Here’s a quick look at both.

In the USA, historians at the University of California at Los Angeles have traced origins of observances in California to the 1860s. Time magazine traces the rise of popularity in the mid-1900s to the Chicano movement. According to Wikipedia, Cinco de Mayo celebrations of Mexican culture and heritage spread from Los Angeles and San Jose to other cities with large Mexican-American populations, such as Houston and Chicago. By 2006, the Journal of American Culture reported official Cinco de Mayo events in more than 150 cities across the USA.

In Mexico, it’s a day to commemorate El Día de la Batalla de Puebla on May 5, 1862, mostly through ceremonial military events. It’s not a national holiday, although it’s a major event in the historic city of Puebla. The battle was an important military victory by ill-equipped and out-manned Mexican troops over French invasionary troops.

However, the victory was short-lived. The French regrouped, captured the Mexican capital within a year, forced Mexican president Benito Juárez into exile, and installed a French puppet monarchy. Historian Christopher Minster has an overview.

Other serious historians, including Michael Hogan, rightfully recognize the importance of the day in Mexico history, and the importance of ensuing events. His book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico examines how Juárez in exile sought and received help from Lincoln as president to oppose the French occupation.

Based on archival documents, Hogan examines why and how Lincoln refused to recognize the French monarchy in Mexico as the legitimate government, and tacitly approved providing military support for Juárez in Chihuahua across the border from El Paso.

US civic and business leaders from Boston to San Francisco raised $18 million in war bonds to help Juárez, and Generals Grant and Sheridan sent more military equipment and former Union troops from the Civil War to Mexico to fight alongside Mexican troops. After Lincoln’s death in 1865, president Johnson continued the support. Eventually, Mexico forced the French troops out of Mexico in 1867, ending European presence in the Americas.

In the early 21st century, US political and civic leaders boosted Cinco de Mayo activities as a way to honor Mexican heritage and traditions. President George W. Bush hosted annual events at the White House complete with Mexican folkloric dancers, and in 2005, the Congress approved a resolution calling for national observances. President Obama continued the tradition of White House observances.

Despite such efforts to pay homage to history, the day in the USA has also become another opportunity for merchants to cash in on ethnic celebrations—not much different than St. Patrick’s Day. As Wikipedia notes, further: “Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on alcoholic beverages.” In fact, Time magazine even ranked Cinco de Mayo #4 on its 2011 list of “Top 10 Drunkest Holidays.”

As the article states: “So much for supporting Mexican pride and nationalism.”

The book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico is in the Lincoln Presidential Library and in many university libraries. It’s available from Barnes&Noble, at independent bookstores, and also available from Amazon in English and Spanish.

 

Thoughtful Reviews Matter

Thanks to everyone who has posted a review on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Goodreads for the book “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico.” Thoughtful customer reviews matter because they boost credibility for the book, which Amazon ranks very high for relevancy among more than 3,200 titles about Abraham Lincoln biography and history. Here are excerpts from a few of the 60+ reviews thus far from readers including Lincoln buffs, historians, educators, authors, and students – all with hyperlinks to the actual reviews online. If you haven’t posted a review yet, we hope you’ll do that in the next few weeks.

“As a historian, I appreciate his succinct explanation of the U.S. Invasion of Mexico, Polk’s egregious and premeditated land grab, and the American disgrace of Manifest Destiny, the attitudes and values of white supremacy at the root of the political, intellectual, and moral vacuum gripping the contemporary American character. Hogan’s kind of historical mirror needs to be placed before American faces more often.” – Robert Richter, Goodreads

“Dr. Michael Hogan is a renowned historian who has thoroughly documented this book. His intellectual honesty rivals President Lincoln’s. I was amazed at the remote details that Dr. Hogan wove into the story, and flabbergasted that neither victor nor vanquished gave proper credit to the “Buffalo Soldiers” for their heroic service to Mexico in the expulsion of the French and their mercenaries. Abraham Lincoln is a hero in Mexico for sure. Thank you, Dr. Hogan, for your masterful work.” – Miles Beacom, Amazon

“The world should welcome this very late in coming correction of US history’s most egregious omission. The truth about the land grab known as the Mexican-American War was simply too outrageous to acknowledge. Hogan’s book supports his shocking revelations through careful research quoting directly from original documents, many of which were previously unpublished. Let us hope the true story finds its way to US classrooms.” –Margaret Van Every, Amazon

“Where to begin – I’ve read many references on the Mex-Am War (1846-1848), but this goes beyond it. Hogan speaks to us from a neutral point of view (as well as any man can). This was not a war of defense, but a war of expansion, a war of oppression, a war of manifest destiny. How one of our greatest Presidents before he was a President viewed it at the time & after is the heart of the book. But there are things said here that transcend history and point to our current political situations. Please read this – you’ll find it is relevant to the world today, and it’s a fun read.” – Jon Heron, Amazon

“The Lincoln presidency continues to intrigue and Dr. Hogan has found a little-explored yet fascinating angle with real relevance for today. In a well-crafted and meticulously researched narrative, he sheds new light on the relationship between Washington and the various unstable authorities in Mexico during the two decades following 1846. Like David McCullough’s The Path Between the Seas, this book is essential reading for historians of the modern Americas.” – Carmen Amato, Goodreads

“Having lived in Mexico for the past twelve years, and having read a half-dozen or so books, I considered myself to be well enough informed regarding the history of USA/Mexico relations. However, having just finished reading what Professor Michael Hogan has gifted us with, I find myself somewhat humbled, and thoroughly enlightened. The book’s publication is very timely. Many of us, for far too long, have been misled by the absence of these facts. If there is any justice, and I believe there is, one would hope that how the USA citizenry relate to Mexico and its citizens, will be dramatically altered once these new facts are disseminated and fully understood.” –Niail John Kavanagh, Amazon

“This is a fascinating and fresh look at the early relationship between the USA and Mexico. It completely upended what I had been taught about the US invasion of Mexico, and, its well-documented and new source material illustrates just how brave and principled a leader was the Republican statesman and President, Abraham Lincoln. If you are a seeker of truth, insight, and historical accuracy – or just a fan of Abraham Lincoln – this is a must read. I wish it had been available to me in High School, when I formed so many false impressions of Mexico that later served to devalue and underestimate the loyal and complex giant that is our neighboring entrée to the rest of Latin America.“ –Bajalover, Amazon

“Quintessential read! As a Mexican college student in the US, this book has given me a fresh new perspective to analyze Mexican American relationships, and as a history buff/reader, it has delighted me.” –Luciana Mendez, Goodreads

“Digging deep into the documented record of Abraham Lincoln times, Dr. Hogan builds a solid case to boldly state the truth of how United States acted illegally to take a massive swath of Mexican territory for no other reason than President Polk wanted it and United States could take it. I sincerely hope this valuable book gains wide notice. –D. Grant Fitter, Amazon

“This book really opened my eyes. The Texas history I was taught when I went to college in Texas was in retrospect terribly biased and abridged from actual events. The author has a remarkably unbiased, even-handed view of history. His narrative is carefully researched with an eye to ferret out the truth, not what we want to hear. He bolsters his truth-telling with original documents in an extensive appendix, with translations side-by-side so you can see the full context of the words often that are often parroted out of context by others. If you have any interest in Lincoln, Texas or Mexican history, I urge you to read this book.” –Kerry Watson, Amazon

“Through the extensive use of primary documents, Hogan reveals the insight and intelligence with which Lincoln and his closest associates approached Mexico. He brings to light little known roles played by actors such as Matias Romero, Charge d’Affaires of Juárez to Washington DC, Philip Sheridan, Lew Wallace, and Ulysses Grant of Civil War fame. He also highlights the engagement of the unknown buffalo soldier who fought with and for the republican army of Mexico against the imperial armies of France, Austria and Belgium as they sought to impose their will on Mexico. It is a tale well told.” –Phil Stover, Amazon

“Professor Michael Hogan adds to the Great Emancipator’s legacy with his “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships.” Dr. Hogan does an excellent job of clearly and comprehensibly explaining the complex situation surrounding the Mexican/American War and Lincoln’ views and actions regarding it. I heartily recommend this book to everyone interested in Lincoln and/or Mexico, and indeed, to world history buffs everywhere.” –Eugene Brady, Amazon

“What a fascinating book! Very illuminating and refreshing to see history presented so bilaterally. The author’s documentation of Lincoln’s calling out President Polk’s devious and illegal entry into the war with Mexico hurt Lincoln politically, but his integrity overrode political expediency. The comparisons between that war and later wars, between those politicians and later ones, are striking.” –Greg Niemann, Amazon

“As a Hispanic student from Mexico I remember taking Advanced Placement U.S. History during my junior year of high-school. However, the textbook that I read never mentioned some sort of relationship between Lincoln and Mexico. That is why this new insight provided by Dr. Michael Hogan was so shocking and delightfully surprising for me. I would’ve wished to have read this book as a supplement while I was taking the course back in high-school. There are supporting real-life documents for every claim made and if you get the e-book version as I did, it’s very easy to navigate around the documents. Overall, a must read for any student that is currently studying U.S. history and is a fan of Abraham Lincoln especially if you live in Mexico and want to know more about how this courageous president played a crucial role in Mexican politics.” –Alejandro, Goodreads

“Abraham Lincoln and Mexico is the first history book I have read in forty-five years and what a delightful surprise. This is not the history presented to me in the required high school course for American History. An enlightening look at the extraordinary Abraham Lincoln, his analytical mind that searched for justice without aspiring to feed political ambitions. Informative and interesting, Mr. Hogan presents the Mexican American War (1846-48) from a holistic vantage point. So very relevant to understanding the relationship between the USA and Mexico with the misunderstood border. A fresh perspective on reading history! –Ellen Akerman, Amazon

“As the moral standard for our country, Abraham Lincoln was front and center in opposing our annexation of Texas and the subsequent rush to war with Mexico, based on falsified claims, outrageous lies, and over-nurtured greed. Michael Hogan, with deft slashes from his academic sword, annihilates the lies and later misrepresentations of Lincoln’s position as fostered by future lazy thinkers. He then proceeds to elucidate the framework by which the United States became a better partner to their southern neighbor, sometimes at the cost of lives sacrificed in battle to oust another foreign interloper: France. This is an important read for both cultures as well as devoted Abe Lincoln admirers.” –Joel Dennstedt, Amazon

“Dr. Hogan began this book because of a student’s comment that the famous Spielberg movie on Lincoln did not even mention Mexico. Annoyed and exasperated by this omission he decided to explore this gap. Luckily for us, Hogan came up with an all-embracing and well-researched ‘biography’ that comprehensively narrates the turbulent period beginning with the Mexican-American war in 1846 and ending with the fall of the French Empire in Mexico in 1867…allowing every one of us to understand how we got to where we are and where we might be tomorrow. –Mauricomoel, Goodreads

“Michael Hogan twists together the disparate strands of the anti-slavery movement, foreign interventions and rights of self-determination in the mid-nineteenth century, into a compelling narrative about geopolitics and the pragmatic approaches to political understanding required by two neighboring nations. This mix of factual, well-sourced material, along with keen insights into the motivations of the parties concerned, is, surely, how all history books for a general readership should be written.” –Tony Burton, Amazon

“Hogan seeks to correct a number of common views of Lincoln that he thinks are not based on a full assessment of the documents available, many of which he reprints in the lengthy appendix to his book. These documents, along with the extensive bibliography, provide a firm basis for a reevaluation of Lincoln in this area and help to explain why he remains one of the most revered American presidents in Mexico. Like his previous book on the San Patricios, ‘Abraham Lincoln and Mexico’ shines bright light on an important area of history that has remained in the shadows for a century and a half. It is an important contribution to understanding Mexican-American history and a step forward in the journey toward truth.” –jsbeauchamp, Barnes&Noble

“This book is as much about the American leader’s moral objections to the war against Mexico and slavery as it is about his hesitations, his political evolution and the people that surrounded him. Unlike other accounts of the Mexican-American War which have robbed Mexicans, former slaves and immigrant soldiers of their complexity, Hogan reminds us that they were not only passive victims of injustice, but also men and women who rose up against it and fought. Most importantly, this text displays Hogan’s gift as a professor and as a writer: his ability to analyze specific events in order to contextualize broader cultural and political trends of the past and the present. I hope that it will help students confront the U.S.’ historical abuses and temper the negative effects of blind patriotism.” –A.S. Carbonell, Amazon

“Dr. Hogan’s meticulous research brings to light an era of Lincoln’s life often ignored by other biographers. Although Lincoln’s opposition to the war is well-documented, some have dismissed it as political posturing or partisan bluster. The historical record, however, shows us that Lincoln’s opposition came from his personal belief that the war represented a terrible injustice unworthy of his beloved United States of America. This book is apt for anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln, US/Mexico relations, political history or imperialist/expansionist policies in historical context. Highly recommended.” –Christopher Minster, Amazon

“Michael Hogan has unearthed and analyzed a crucial aspect of Abraham Lincoln’s political evolution: His stance towards the Mexican-American war of 1846 to 1848. The annexation of former Mexican lands led to the destruction of the north-south balance of power, which led directly into the civil war. Hogan assembles a well-documented case for Lincoln’s distaste for the aggressive war that robbed Mexico of half its territory. Thanks to this book Lincoln emerges once again as the brilliant statesman that he was and, once again, we see him as a guardian and defender of the most precious principles our republic was founded upon. This book is a worthy read and highly recommended.” –Heribert Feilitzsch, Goodreads

“Michael Hogan has written a valuable addition to the long list of histories about Abraham Lincoln. Hogan addresses directly those who minimize Lincoln’s opposition as primarily an expedient political. Instead, Hogan persuasively argues that Lincoln’s opposition to Texas annexation and further expansion in the Southwest was at the core of his free-soil beliefs. Hogan’s narrative covers the lead up to the war as well as U.S. diplomatic relationship with Mexico during the Lincoln Presidency. Abraham Lincoln and Mexico also reminds us of the complicated history of the US and Mexico regarding our shared border.” –Peter Catapano, Amazon

“Dr. Michael Hogan tells the true and intriguing story of the Mexican – American War (1846-1848) which to this day remains untaught and almost unmentioned in the American high school curriculum. As a student who has studied in both the United States and Mexico, this book was particularly interesting due to its truthful portrayal of the United States. Dr. Hogan uses a variety of vital sources which brilliantly contribute to the powerfulness of the history which is being told. Overall, it is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in the true story of the Mexican-American War or the incredible brilliance of President Lincoln.” –Sofia Gates, Goodreads

“Michael Hogan’s Abraham Lincoln in Mexico is a must read for students of US/Mexico relations. It should be read by all high school students north and south of the border! Hogan, with his in-depth research and his superb storytelling, gives us a timely gem!” –Kristen R. Fry, Amazon

“I never knew about Lincoln’s opposition to the war with Mexico. I’ve read quite a bit of history, and I was quite surprised to learn how much I didn’t know about this era… I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history, and doesn’t want to be limited by what we learn in U.S. schools.” –Jennifer Silva Redmond, Amazon

Thanks again for your interest in the book and in the overall Lincoln and Mexico Project. Don’t forget to check the official Facebook page for frequent posts related to our activity.

The New York Times looks at the US-Mexican War

Photo credits: Image from NYTimes article courtesy of the newspaper. Photo of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (l) and author Michael Hogan courtesy of the author.

Sometimes, the gods bestow gifts on authors by focusing attention on content in their books. That’s what happened this week when The New York Times ran an op-ed piece based on a possible lawsuit by Mexico focusing on the legal issues stemming from the illegal US 1846 invasion, conquest, acquisition, and the controversial 1848 treaty that took nearly half of Mexico’s sovereign territory.

The complete 1848 treaty is in Michael Hogan’s book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico, available on Amazon http://amzn.to/2jQRPnI, which discusses how the US reneged on key treaty provisions before Senate ratification. The effort to consider a lawsuit against the United States is led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the highly-respected founder of the PRD (Mexico’s liberal party) and former presidential candidate. Although the book doesn’t advocate legal action, Hogan and Cárdenas have a long-standing friendship, as you can see by the photo.

As the op-ed points out, “….even if one admits the legal validity of much of the treaty, there are a number of crucial articles — such as those dealing with citizenship, property and the security of 100,000 Mexicans who remained on what became American territory — that have been ignored from the beginning.” The op-ed continues: “The United States owes Mexico and itself an honest reconsideration of its first imperial war, not only in its schools and universities but also in its museums and books.”

In Mexico, the book and the play based on the book continue to receive very positive coverage. Here are two examples:

— Recent coverage includes a lengthy feature article in The Guadalajara Reporter about the World Premiere of the play March 23-25. The play brings to light the friendship between President Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln, and Mexican envoy Matìas Romero that led to Lincoln’s support for the exiled government of Benito Juárez. Performances at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara were first class, thanks the cast and crew under the direction of Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea, assistant director Tania Romero, and production assistant Paulina Aragon. (Screenshot courtesy of The Guadalajara Reporter.)

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— An excellent in-depth feature article in El Ojo del Lago examines Romero’s illustrious career as a diplomat in the USA, beginning with his initial visit to see Lincoln in Illinois just before Lincoln’s inauguration. It also mentions a gala dinner in New York City attended by luminaries including Theodore Roosevelt to honor Romero for his service. History textbooks or other books about Lincoln don’t cover these details, but Hogan found them in archival documents among Lincoln’s papers in the United States and Romero’s diaries in Mexico. (Screenshot courtesy of El Ojo del Lago.)

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Heads up, amigos!!! The Spanish Kindle version, Abraham Lincoln y Mexico, is coming!! The official release date is May 13, the anniversary of the date the US Congress declared war on Mexico in 1846. You can pre-order on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2n7minY. Let’s do it! ¡Adelante!

To keep up with news about the book and the play on social media, click here to visit the official Facebook page, which now has more than 2,500 likes. The page reached more than 30,000 people in the past 28 days, almost 17,000 of whom identified Spanish as their preferred language—another reason to release the book in Spanish. A single post featuring positive comments by former Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon about relationships between Mexico and the United States reached more than 18,000 people. The post was based on his remarks to the March 25 Saturday matinee audience for the play at the ASFG.

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You can help spread the word about the book on social media by going to the GoFundMe campaign to “Send Lincoln to Congress” and clicking to share on Facebook and Twitter. And while you’re there, we hope you’ll contribute to the success of the campaign.

Best regards, and thanks again for your interest in the Lincoln and Mexico Project.