by Alfredo E. Cardenas
Balo’s War, A Historical Novel About the Plan of San Diego is the first book published by MCM Books. It was released in March 2015.
It employs a variety of characters, real and imagined, to tell the story of a people who went from being Spaniard to Mexican to American in a short span of 30 years. They struggled to hold on to their land, their language, their culture, and their history—against insurmountable odds. At times this struggle resorted to violence. This is a historical novel depicting the “Plan of San Diego, Texas,” one of those times when the struggle became violent.
Arnoldo de Leon, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of History, San Angelo State University
As do the short stories and novels identified with (among others) Rolando Hinojosa-Smith and Américo Paredes, Cárdenas’s tome succeeds in faithfully rendering aspects of Tejano living at the turn of the 20th century—after all, that milieu has shaped him. He portrays characters as strong and self-assured figures who maintain composure and confidence while wrestling against life’s vicissitudes…Cárdenas emerges as a master story teller gifted with a writer’s touch and a vivid imagination. The novel should sell well to the public at large. At the university level, professors might opt for its adoption in lieu of a scholarly text.
Manuel Flores, Ph.D., Professor & Chair of the Department of Art, Communications and Theatre (ACT) at Texas A&M University-Kingsville,
…the story of that ill-fated plan and turbulent times is told in an exciting manner by Cárdenas. This is a fascinating book about a plan of revolution by Tejanos in the early 20th century. Cardenas has taken this controversial event and brought life to it like few have in the past. Historically this book, is important, especially to those interested in Texas history and the Tejanos quest for civil rights. As a work of fiction, the book is compelling. Cardenas is a great story-teller and this won’t be his only book.
Ben Johnson, Ph.D., “Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans”
“A modern fictional account of the Plan de San Diego, just in time for its centennial! The main characters and plot work well to tell the story of the uprising and where it fits into the larger history of South Texas and the border.”
Balo’s War is a novel that everyone should read. It provides a realistic view of the feelings and struggles that our people faced during turbulent times.