by Michael Barnes for Austin American-Statesman
The story of Mexico is the story of Texas.
The two subjects are so intertwined that it is often difficult to see where one ends and the other begins.
Consider our shared 1,254-mile border which, no matter what you’re told, has always been porous. Historical, cultural and social contact across the Rio Grande was continuous – sometimes tragic, sometimes joyful – long before the arrival of the Spaniards in the 1500s.
To this day, almost everything that happens in Mexico affects what happens in Texas.
My grip on Mexican history, however, is shamefully tenuous.
This gloomy state of affairs has recently been illuminated by three new books and a new friend.
I have known historian Karl Schmitt for only a few weeks, but I already consider him a friend in the making. Austinite, who turned 100 in July, taught Latin American government at the University of Texas for 30 years, which automatically helps illuminate my historical blind spots.
Currently, I’m working on a journal profile of Schmitt’s crowded century of life, including his WWII memoirs; he received two Purple Hearts during his European tour.
With an unwavering sense of humor—and more vim and vip at 100 than I can sustain at 67—Schmitt helped me sink gently into Mexican history.
Let’s not forget that he was born just two years after the end of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).
Click here to read the full original article by Michael Barnes for the Austin American-Statesman
Source: American Statesman from Austin
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