Elizabeth Salas’ Soldaderas in the Mexican Military: Myth and History is such a fascinating and useful book. I first came across it when I wanted to find out more about the Soldaderas in the Mexican Revolution. I was shocked to find that there wasn’t very much material on the subject except for brief mentions in books about the Mexican Revolution and of course songs like La Adelita. I was angry that there was so little material on a subject that I believed to be highly overlooked.
I bought the book, not expecting much after all the dead ends that I had found on this subject and was blown away by it’s detail and wealth of information.
Ms. Salas book is an excellent reference tool and an absorbing read. It sheds light on these amazing women who fought bravely for their country. Ms. Salas not only references the Mexican Revolution, she goes from pre-Conquest times and the warrior women who fought then to the Xicana activism of the 1970’s.
Soldaderas in the Mexican Military breaks the stereotype of the soldadera being a camp follower or a basket toting wife of a soldier. Sala’s tells of women who held high ranks in the military and even drew pension. She lets the reader know just how important these women were and how hard they fought. These women were spies, lieutenants, corporals and generals. They provided food, smuggled in arms and fought just as hard as any man. Viva la Mujer!