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For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada: The Cristero War and Mexico's Struggle for Religious Freedom Paperback – Jun 15 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Pr (June 15 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570589542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570589546
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #402,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 41 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
....a mediocre companion Sept. 3 2012
By Mary Esterhammer-Fic - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very impressed by the movie, "For Greater Glory." (I also posted a review on that.) I wanted more background information, and I also knew the film would have taken a few liberties with information in order to fit it into a short time-frame with limited characters.

So, I was very happy to see that a book on this subject, the "true story", had been published.

I would recommend that anyone who is unfamiliar with the Cristeros see the movie FIRST, with the understanding that the director has, of necessity, taken some artistic license. Then read this book to flesh out some of the information.

It's a quick read, and you can finish it in one sitting.

Obviously, it was rushed into print to coincide with the movie's run, and the author was under the gun to get it to market. But there's no attempt at a narrative. It's mostly question-and-answer, which is fine if you know the questions you want to ask. But for the reader who wants a context for the Cristeros movement, the Q & A format is not ideal.

Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus weighs in with an essay giving some of this context--it's too bad he didn't tackle the whole book. The K of C has, since its inception, been hugely influential in matters of religious freedom. I had no idea they were this politically involved, and it was an eye-opener for me that these principled men threw their support behind the Mexican Catholics, at a time when virtually no one knew or cared about what was happening south of the border. I had always assumed the K of C was just a social organization for former altar boys.

This has given me some insight into my own family's history: my grandfather was a very active K of C member, and he would have been involved with this issue right around this time.

The book also includes papal encyclicals addressing the situation in Mexico, as well as Cristero prayers (and a photo collection from the movie...the "real" characters have pictures embedded in the main body of the book). There is no index. There's a short bibliography, which unfortunately does NOT include Robert Royal's "Catholic Martyrs of the 20th Century". In that book, there is a very good, concise treatment of the Cristeros movement and the story of Father Pro, and there are also chapters on martyrs all over the globe who lived and died in fairly recent history. (It's moving to read about these men and women because their lives don't seem so remote, historically.)

I'm glad Ruben Quezada and Ignatius Press published this book, but I wish it had been more comprehensive.

I hope this is just a trial run and that another, more inclusive book follows. It would be wonderful if a text were made available to students of history and of Catholicism, especially kids in high school.

Because this is a story that should be heard.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Good, very short introduction by a non-specialist Aug. 24 2012
By Casey R. Law - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author, Mr. Quezada, is affiliated with Catholic Answers, and the book is in a question-and-answer format, which is odd for a history. As I understand it, Mr. Quezada knew next to nothing about the Cristiada when he received the assignment to write this book. (He apparently got the assignment largely because of his knowledge of Spanish.) The author has taken obvious pains to get his facts right, but he had very limited time and he's admittedly not a specialist--my impression is that he's not a historian, period. Prospective buyers deserve to know that the scholarship is, therefore, inevitably at the level of a college term paper (though an "A" paper).

I wouldn't exactly say that Mr. Quezada's status as a Catholic apologist created a conflict of interest for him; however, it should be noted that the institutional Church's betrayal of the Cristeros is underplayed in the book (and the movie).

A chunk of the book is taken up with black-and-white photos, largely taken from the film. (I loved the movie and don't object to this.)

Another reviewer commented on the inclusion of some Cristero prayers in the book, which I think is a nice touch. Far more space is taken up, however, by a couple of papal encyclicals (from the 1920s and 1930s) about the persecution of the Church in Mexico. These, as good specimens of Vatican diplomatic-speak, make for wearisome reading.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Religious freedom in Mexico came at a High Price July 15 2012
By Sylvia S. - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing story of Mexico's fight for religious freedom when it was taken away in 1919. The people faught for years to regain what they had lost. I just came from seeing the movie and now cannot wait to read the book. It makes me scared how much our government is taking over our religious freedom and how quickly it can be lost.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good book but just scratches the surface Jan. 1 2013
By Ky. Col. - Published on
Format: Paperback
The film "For Greater Glory" is an excellent depiction of the struggle for religious freedom in late 1920s Mexico. Admittedly it takes significant historical license in places but it is a well acted and powerfully done telling of the Cristero War in which thousands of Mexico Catholics stood up against a government bent on persecuting their faith. After watching the film I decided to read this companion book as it was supposed to provide the factual basis of what happened.

Overall the book was not a disappointment. I learned quite a few facts about the Cristero War and some of the historical characters in the film such as the fascinating General Gorosteita Velarde, "El Catorce" Ramierez, President calles, and the inspiring martyr Jose Sanchez del Rio. The book was generally well written and an easy read. I suppose my main complaint is that I found it too generalized. The Papal encyclicals at the end may have some interest and the Cristero battle hymns were interesting but I was hoping to learn even more about the historical personalities and the course of the rebellion itself. Afterall it does not seem there is a great deal written specifically about the Cristiada in English.

In summation the book was worth reading and people who enjoyed the film will probably learn something. It is not particularly detailed though and I thought it could have "fleshed out" the historical characters with more detailed focus on their lives. For those wanting a more detailed account of the Cristiada's context and particulars I would recommend Jean Meyer's book on the subject published by Cambridge. In the case of that volume once again the historical figures are not dealt with as much as I would prefer but the history of the Cristero movement is well discussed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Thought I ordered the MOVIE, but will really enjoy the book, Thank you. May 19 2013
By M Juanita Littrell - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great gift and will love reading the book. Thank you. Was happy to get this, and will enjoy it. Thanks.