The White Rose

By B. Traven


B. Traven is a masterful storyteller who injects his worldview and philosophy, which focuses on the plight of the poor, especially the indigenous, rural population in Latin America, Asia and Africa into his novels. He’s written twelve novels, one non-fiction publication and several short stories, in which the sensational and adventurous subjects combine with a critical attitude towards capitalism. Although I’d heard of his best-known work, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, I had no idea who the author was, and after some investigation learned of a good deal of mystery about his identity. He expresses the reasoning for wanting to remain detached from his work with this statement, “The creative person should have no other biography than his works”; however, that sentiment has been questioned by many.

The story is about a U.S. oil company’s quest to expand their drilling rights in rural Mexico, at any cost, and their response when a local Indian leader tried to sidetrack their efforts in order to maintain the local values and culture. Here’s how the author describes a clash of two world views.

Book reviewed by Mark D. Walker
United States