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Appropriate reading

8 March 2022

Luis I. Rodriguez, “Ballet of Blood” (Ballet de sangre),Ediciones Negromante,1942.

This appears to have been a semi-vanity publication … I’ve never seen a commercial printing from Mexico in the 1940s with this typeface… but nonetheless, not only a valuable addition to my collection, but something more relevant today than as a historical artifact.

Rodriguez was the Mexican Ambassador to France from 1939 until January 1942 (a few months shy of Mexico’s declaration of war against Germany and its allies), and witnessed the Fall of France, the book a day-by-day account of the German occupation and French capitulation over June-July 1940. While obviously, Rodriguez was rooting for the French, as the representative of a neutral nation, his book is especially valuable for its portraits of the French heroes and villains of the time, at the time, minus later mythologizing and “fog of war” reportage that has always clouded the media of those with a pre-set narrative of what SHOULD happen.

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