Mariano Azuela is a Mexican writer born in 1873. After receiving a degree in medicine, he returned to poor districts in his home state to practice madicine, a manifestation of his lifelong concern for the pueblo of Mexico. During the Mexican Revolution, Azuela joined the forces of Francisco Villa and became director of public education in Jalisco under the Villa government. When that government fell, he served as doctor to Villa's men during their retreat northward. From Azuela's war experiences came his novel The Underdogs, which he published in installments in a newspaper after fleeing to Texas in 1915. The novel Torres-Rioseco which has been called an epic poem in prose of the Mexican Revolution deals with the revolution from the point of view of the humble soldiers, examining the circumstances that keep them in poverty, the brutality of the fighting, and the opportunism and betrayal of the revolution. An admirer of Emile Zola, Azuela stressed the effect of environment on character in many of his novels.