Toward the end of 1913 John Reed was sent to cover the revolution in Mexico by Metropolitan, a widely read magazine whose writers included the leading muckrakers and reformers of the time. He was also commissioned as a correspondent by the New York World. Then twenty-six years of age, Reed had already won some fame as a journalist, having earlier that year reported the fierce silk workers strike in Paterson, New Jersey, led by the I.W.W.
Reed's articles from Mexico established him among the top journalists of his day. Insurgent Mexico, his first published book, included episodes which first had appeared in the Metropolitan. Later, in a brief autobiographical essay, he referred to his days in Mexico as "the most satisfactory period of my life."
The preface to this edition is by Renato Leduc, a leading Mexican journalist who was a telegrapher with Villa's army at the time Reed sent his dispatches from Mexico.