Mon, Aug

From Mexico, Michael Hogan: Books on San Patricos, Lincoln and


Author Presentation: Sunday, October 19th Room 109, 4:30 pm - 5 pm Author Michael Hogan Ph.D. Why Mexico Loves Abraham Lincoln and the Irish

Sources: The Irish Soldiers of Mexico and Abraham Lincoln and Mexico. Both by Michael Hogan

When the US declared war on Mexico in 1846 and invaded that country based on false information, Abraham Lincoln, then a young Representative from Illinois, stood up in Congress and called the war “unconstitutional and unnecessary.” He called the president a fabricator and war monger. He risked his political career by doing so. Ulysses S. Grant said it was “a wicked war” and “the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker.” Hundreds of Irish, who had recently arrived to the New World fleeing the famine, agreed. They joined the Mexicans to repel what they considered an unprovoked invasion of a Catholic country. These men were called the Battalion of St. Patrick, or Los San Patricios. They are still honored today each year in ceremonies in the Mexican capital.
In 1863, when the US was in the middle of its own Civil War, Mexico in its weakened state, was invaded again. This time by Napoleon III’s French army along with their Austrian allies who imposed a Hapsburg prince, Maximilian I, as Emperor of Mexico.  Although actively engaged in fighting the Confederates, President Lincoln provided a letter to the Mexican envoy which enabled him to raise over 18 million dollars in sales of Mexican bonds to train and arm a citizen army and to overthrow the French. In addition, Lincoln called on a feisty young Irish-American general, Phil Sheridan, to “lose” thousands of surplus weapons on the Mexican border after the Lee’s surrender and to harass the French troops at the Texas frontier.

Statues of Abraham Lincoln adorn squares and parks in Mexico. And the Irish are considered hermanos by Mexicans who share with them a love for poetry, music, the Virgin, and a passion for freedom. Estimated time of talk: 40 minutes.  Q and A: 15-20 minutes.

Michael Hogan
is the author of twenty-four books, including the best-selling Irish Soldiers of Mexico and which has been the basis of an MGM movie and three documentaries. He is Emeritus Humanities Chair at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, and a former professor of International Relations at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara.  He is a member of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the National Society of Geography and Statistics in Mexico. His latest book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico has been praised by historians “as a unique contribution to the field.” His talk today will be from that book in which he shows how the Irish-American general, Philip Sheridan, provided weapons to the Mexican cause at the end of the Civil War, and encouraged his troops (including hundreds of “buffalo soldiers”) to join the Mexican army and help defeat the French in 1867. His books will be available for sale after his talk

Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships

This book by Michael Hogan, a noted Ph.D. historian is one of the best books available about historical relations between the United States and Mexico. It shines new light on reasons for the US invasion of Mexico in 1846, opposition by Abraham Lincoln and other politicians to the unjustified and unconstitutional decision by President Polk to go to war, the importance of the ensuing war against Mexico, the resulting territorial seizures by the United States, the impact both nationally and internationally to both countries, the troubling legacy even today, and the result of silences that have been pervasive over the years regarding this conflict. It examines all aspects of this history based on actual documents in government, university, and private institutions in both the US and Mexico, including citations to these documents and the complete text for many of them in the Appendix.

The book covers more than two decades of US history, from 1846 to the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. As such, this outstanding book is a welcome addition to continuing discussion about the roles of the United States and Mexico during two of the most controversial and complex periods in American history, and how decisions made then continue to permeate the daily lives of citizens and residents of both countries.

Molly Malone and the San Patricios: Hungry, homeless and in trouble with the law, fleeing from the Irish Famine, sixteen year old Kevin Dillon enlists in the American Army. When he discovers that the Army of Observation in Texas is actually poised for an invasion of a peaceful Catholic country, Kevin and his friends slip across the Rio Bravo at night. There, they join with John Riley of the St. Patricks (San Patricio) Battalion and fight for the Mexican side.

The last of the recruits, a golden-eyed Doberman dubbed Molly Malone, proves to be a warrior of unquestioned loyalty and courage. She follows Kevin and the Irishmen through the deadliest of battles even to the gallows at Mixcoac where thirty of them are hanged.

In this remarkable re-creation Michael Hogan brings the history of the era alive with all its violence and sex, contradictions and ideals, romance and glory. And, underneath it all, is the poignant tale of a boy and his dog.


Michael Hogan
is the author of more than twenty books, including two collections of short stories, eight books of poetry, selected essays on teaching in Latin America, two novels, and the best-selling Irish Soldiers of Mexico, a history of the Irish battalion in Mexico which formed the basis for an MGM movie starring Tom Berenger. His latest non-fiction work, Savage Capitalism and the Myth of Democracy: Latin America in the Third Millennium, has been praised by Noam Chomsky who wrote:"These lucid and thoughtful essays provide a valuable picture of Latin America from a point of view that is perceptive, often controversial, but always instructive." Another novel, A Death in Newport, has delighted readers of international intrigue and police fiction.

In 2012 Winter Solstice: Selected Poems 1975-2012 was published with a revealing introduction by Sam Hamill. This long-awaited collection included poems from the Paris Review, New Letters and the American Poetry Review as well as selections from out-of print-chapbooks. Also in 2012, his memoir, Newport: A Writer's Beginnings was released. Here the reader observes Hogan's early influences as well as his youthful encounters with Eisenhower at the Summer White House in Newport, and JFK at Boston College.

Dr. Hogan's work has appeared in many journals such as the Paris Review, the Harvard Review, Z-Magazine, Political Affairs and the Monthly Review. He is the former director of Latin American initiatives for the College Board, and a special consultant to the U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Schools.

Hogan has worked as an Humanities Department Head for fourteen years in American schools abroad and as a professor of international relations at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. He has given workshops and presentations at conferences in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.He currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico with the textile artist Lucinda Mayo, and their dog, Molly Malone.

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