• The Last Emperor of Mexico

  • The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World
  • By: Edward Shawcross
  • Narrated by: Gustavo Rex
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The true operatic tragedy of Maximilian and Carlota, the European aristocrats who stumbled into power in Mexico - and faced bloody consequences.

In the 1860s, Napoleon III, intent on curbing the rise of American imperialism, persuaded a young Austrian archduke and a Belgian princess to leave Europe and become the emperor and empress of Mexico. They and their entourage arrived in a Mexico ruled by terror, where revolutionary fervor was barely suppressed by French troops. When the United States, now clear of its own Civil War, aided the rebels in pushing back Maximilian’s imperial soldiers, the French army withdrew, abandoning the young couple. The regime fell apart. Maximilian was executed by a firing squad and Carlota, secluded in a Belgian castle, descended into madness.

Assiduously researched and vividly told, The Last Emperor of Mexico is a dramatic story of European hubris, imperialist aspirations clashing with revolutionary fervor, and the Old World breaking from the New.

©2021 Basic Books (P)2021 Basic Books

Critic Reviews

“Mr. Shawcross, a British historian, creates a balanced and deeply human portrait of the emperor…[a] deeply researched narrative.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Crisply written and meticulously researched, Shawcross’s engaging book tells a lively story that will appeal to most history buffs.” (Library Journal)

“The story of Maximilian is one of the most compelling, absurd, cynical, and revealing chapters in the history of Mexico and the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. Edward Shawcross has marvelous material to work with, and he handles it with insight and panache.” (H.W. Brands, author of The General vs. the President)

What listeners say about The Last Emperor of Mexico

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting & informative historical account

The book is well written with interesting and informative historical accounts. The narrator was fine, but I found his imitation of female voices unnecessary and off putting.

1 person found this helpful

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Viva La Mexico!

Terrific writing. A Lot of European colonial hubris. And the narration by Gustavo Rex was also phenomenal considering all the French and Spanish phrases and names at times. Well done.