6 Best Books on Mexican History (2024 Review)

Having achieved independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico remains the third largest country in Latin America, with Brazil and Argentina holding first and second positions respectively. Composed of 31 states and one federal district, Mexico has a very rich history that is steeped in culture and traditions. 

The country has more than 100 million people, emerging as the largest country in the world with the most Spanish speakers. Having been in existence for more than 13,000 years, it was first known as Mesoamerica with central and southern Mexico combined.

best books on mexican history

The country is home to numerous pre-Columbian ruins that tell the story of its ancient occupiers – some of which are the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Mayans, Toltecs, and the Aztecs among other indigenous peoples.

Best Books on Mexican History: Our Top Recommendations 

To fully understand the history, culture, and civilization of Mexico, you would need to read these 6 of the best books on Mexican history. These select books were handpicked and reviewed by our internal editors and are suitable for students, scholars, and vacationers who want to know the history of the country.

These books will take you through the ancient settlers, the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and the country that has the second-highest of Catholics in the world after Brazil.

1. The Course of Mexican History


Written by two professors and a professor emeritus, The Course of Mexican History in its 11th edition shows how Mexico has gone past its pre-Columbian roots to its present status. This book covers the economic, political, and social terrains of the largest Spanish-speaking people in the world to reveal how they have fared since the time they have come to be known as Mexico.

This Mexican history book is recommended for students, scholars, politicians, tourists, and general readers who are interested in life in Mexico.

  • Author(s): Susan M. Deeds; Michael C. Meyer; and William L. Sherman  
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press  
  • Current Edition: Paperback, 11th Edition (November, 2017) 
  • Pages: 672

2. The Oxford History of Mexico


Having published the hardcover edition of this title in 2000 to defeaning reviews, this paperback edition expands on the topics covered in the hardcover and beyond. The book revisits the reign of the Aztecs to the 21st century, the Mexican War of Independence in 1810 and the Mexican Revolution of 1910. 

This book also covers the historical events, people, and organizations that shaped Mexico through the centuries to its current form. It examines its ancient life, civilization, ethnicities, religion, technology, and even mass media. It also features several essays on ancient and present lives in the country, as well as the migration of Mexicans to the United States and recent presidential elections.

  • Author(s): William Beezley and Michael Meyer  
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press  
  • Current Edition: Paperback, 1st Edition (August, 2010) 
  • Pages: 675

3. History of Mexico: A Captivating Guide to Mexican History


The History of Mexico “covers every era in the nation’s history in chronological format, offering a quick, affordable reference source for students, scholars and anyone who has ever been interested in Mexico’s rich cultural heritage.” This book also covers the dynasties and the warriors that upheld them, the ancient astronomers, religious priests, and ritual temples that were even used for human sacrifices. 

Some of the major issues examined in this edition include the era of the empires, New Spain and the Spanish-Aztec War, the times of Don Porfirio, the Mexican Revolution, the Cristeros, the Mexican Miracle, and other matters of contemporary interests. This book comes highly recommended for people who study Mexican and South American history.

  • Author(s): Captivating History  
  • Publisher: Captivating History  
  • Current Edition: Paperback (April, 2020) 
  • Pages: 104

4. Mexican History: A Captivating Guide to the History of Mexico and the Mexican Revolution (South American Countries)


This book combines The Mexican Revolution and the History of Mexico – making this book a 2-in-1 source material. The first part of the book covers the rise of the ancient empires, the Spanish-Aztec War, the times of Don Porfirio, the great revolution, the Second World War, and other intervening events that marked the beginning and end of an epoch.

The second part of the book covers the Two Hurricanes, Victoriano Huerto, Francisco and the Spirits, the Strong Man of the Americas, the Comet, the Convention of Aguascalientes, the Horsemen and the Apocalypse, Zimmermann Telegram, and the Centaur among other important materials. 

  • Author(s): Captivating History  
  • Publisher: Captivating History  
  • Current Edition: Paperback (June, 2020) 
  • Pages: 208

5. A Concise History of Mexico (Cambridge Concise Histories)


This Mexican history book analyzes important events of historical significance in ancient and modern Mexico. The author critically analyzed the drug war and drug gangs, migration and border crises with the United States, membership of NAFTA and other supra-national organizations, and economic and political affiliations with European countries and those in Latin America as well as the Pacific Rim.

This book concisely chronicles cultural, political, and economic struggles of the Mexican nation to achieve and assert its sovereignty in a world stepping into an emerging era. This book covers all there is to know about Mexico – the past, present, and future – and it is cheap and affordable to acquire for scholarly and entertainment purposes. 

  • Author(s): Brian R. Hamnett  
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press  
  • Current Edition: Paperback, 3rd Edition (March, 2019) 
  • Pages: 570

6. Epic Mexico: A History from Earliest Times


Hailed as the “most thorough and thoroughly readable one-volume history of Mexico from antiquity to our day,” this book covers the ancient times of Mexico from the saber-tooth tiger of the past to the narcotics traffickers of the present. This book examines the dominance of the Olmec and Aztec as well as the Spanish Conquest to the complex pluralistic society that Mexico has become today. 

This book also covers the current problems bedevilling the country today. Some of these include public violence, environmental degradation, public health, ethnic diversity, and political challenges as well as the arts such as literature, music, and cinema among other things.

The invaluable resource also examines the general struggles and triumphs of the government at running a stable society that benefits every citizen. This book is highly recommended for everyone interested in the fascinations and intrigues of ancient and modern Mexico.

  • Author(s): Terry Rugeley  
  • Publisher: OUP  
  • Current Edition: Paperback, Illustrated Edition (August, 2020) 
  • Pages: 270