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Maximilian and Carlota: Europe's Last Empire in Mexico
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Maximilian and Carlota: Europe's Last Empire in Mexico

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this new telling of Mexico’s Second Empire and Louis Napoléon’s installation of Maximilian von Habsburg and his wife, Carlota of Belgium, as the emperor and empress of Mexico, Maximilian and Carlota brings the dramatic, interesting, and tragic time of this six-year-siege to life.

From 1861 to 1866, the French incorporated the armies of Austria, Belgium—including forces f
Paperback, 552 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Trinity University Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A TOP SHELF review, originally published in The Monitor

A childhood spent on a South Texas ranch, devouring the stories of the Mexican Revolution and other momentous events from the history of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, set Mary Margaret McAllen on the road to scholarly investigation of this fascinating past.

Her first two books, which garnered critical acclaim and award recognition, dealt in various ways with the intersection of U.S./Texas and Mexico. In her latest, most ambitious project to
Christopher Roblodowski
I received this book through a First Reads giveaway. I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised. The story of Maximillian von Habsburg and Carlota is a riveting, intense, tragic ride. This book proves that non-fiction when presented well, can be as captivating as a fantasy novel.The backdrop is 1860's Mexico. Louis Napoleon sees an opportunity to take possession of Mexico with the US preoccupied with the civil war.He plants Maximillian, an archduke of Austria,as emperor of Mexico.Maximil ...more
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All I remembered from my school days of this story is that Maximilian was executed, so this book was eye opening to me. It was surprising to read that this whole scheme was designed by the French who convinced Maximilian to become emperor of a country they never fully conquered and then left Maximilian to his fate. This story is so audacious that if I didn't know it was true, I would think it was a work of fiction. I think this book does a good job of telling the story of the failed Mexican empi ...more
Mike Curtis
In always looking for books on Mexico, sometimes I get ahold of one that seems only tangental, like this one. Lots of detail about the royal families of Europe, and lots of reminders why we don't want the rich people in power. Humble Mexico, especially in the person of Juarez, comes out with the moral highground, even with all the violence. This telling of the Empire story makes for good reading. ...more
Alec Gray
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great account of failed imperial hubris, when Napoleon III attempted to acquire Mexico by installing an Austrian heir, married to a Belgium princess, as king of Mexico. Spoiler alert: it did'nt work out so well for Max ...more
Jim Blessing
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book discussed in detail the reign of Maximilian, a Hapsburg Austrian, as the Emperor of Mexico. Although the book was well-researched, towards the middle, I lost interest and had difficulty in completing the read.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is nonfiction which reads like fiction. A very interesting bit of history which is rarely discussed.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It needs to be said upfront: this needs to be made into a movie. The opponent of Mexican emperor Maximilian, Benito Juarez, has had his story told on the big screen, but it was a propaganda piece, displaying Juarez as the singular source of justice in his country. The story is much more nuanced than that; neither of them are the bad guy. Maximilian was certainly a usurper, convinced to leave behind the Hapsburg line of succession for a new country where the promise of popular sovereignty beckone ...more
Craig Louis
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sejarah
The euro intrigues, Confederate conspiracy, and imperialist hold outs that led to Cinco de Mayo and poisoned the well of revolution. Not comprehensive history of the revolution, but deep and interesting background.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, very informative book, but be warned: it reads like a college text-book. Very slow starting, and ends very quickly, but the middle chapters are very interesting. Considering most Americans have never heard about a French-Austrian empire in Mexico, this book is very interesting to read. Just be ready, it's not for the casual reader! ...more
Book was very informative. I knew a little about this reign and the French invasion but nothing about the actual workings of it. I especially liked the epilogue of the book. Interesting how this led to Porfirio Diaz's dictatorship later on. ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, if ordinary biography on Maximilian and Carlotta. While it is sound on the lives of the two principles, it could have been better with more attention to some of the secondary characters such as Juarez and Napoleon III.
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest tragedies in history. Heart breaking in so many ways. Very well researched.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not the personal-perspective nonfiction narrative promised. Sadly, its dry, textbook reading made it impossible to finish.
Jerome Lafayette
Excellent, well-written exploration of a complicated story involving the ambitions and destinies of half a dozen countries and the establishment of a European empire in Mexico in the 1860s.

The author deftly weaves the personal narratives of the Austrian Archduke Maximilian and his wife, Princess Carlota of Belgium, as they haphazardly lead a violently divided Mexico on the fool's errand of setting up a French outpost for Napoleon the III in the Western Hemisphere.

In every way this is a fascinat
Alycia Coyle
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May 07, 2014
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