"Carrera first led a small revolt in a mountainous rural district of eastern Guatemala, and as similar isolated uprisings escalated into a bloody, full-scale, reactionary revolution, he advanced quickly through the insurgents' ranks. A brilliant military strategist and tactician and an intuitive problem solver, Carrera knew how to charm people even as he exploited them, and he regarded brutality as a legitimate political tool. By 1839, at age twenty-five, he commanded the Guatemalan army; he was to remain the dominant caudillo on the isthmus, almost without interruption, until his death in 1865." "Woodward establishes Carrera as an aberration of regional politics. He emerged from the revolution as something of a rural populist, able to mobilize Indians, Ladinos, and other segments of society that were disdained and feared by elites of all political leanings. His sway over the common people forced the elite factions to lay aside political differences in the interest of preserving their social status. Carrera himself thrived amid the resulting intrigue and ideological bickering, so secure at home that he often sent troops into neighboring countries to oust liberal elements.".