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The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup Against Chavez and the Making of Modern Venzuelaby Brian Nelson
Synopses & Reviews
On April 11, 2002, nearly a million Venezuelans marched on the presidential palace to demand the resignation of Hugo Chávez. The opposition represented a cross-section of society furious with Chávezs economic policies, specifically his mishandling of Venezuelan oil. As the day progressed, the march turned violent, sparking a military revolt that led to the temporary ousting of Chávez. Over the ensuing turbulent seventy-two hours, Venezuelans would confront the deep divisions within their society and ultimately decide the best course for their country—and its oil—in the new century.
Drawing on unprecedented reporting, Nelson renders a mesmerizing account of the coup. An Economist Book of the Year, The Silence and the Scorpion provides rich insight into the complexities of modern Venezuela.
"Historian Nelson recreates the dramatic 2002 attempted coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chvez, beginning with accounts of citizens who attended the million-person, violent protest that precipitated the three-day power vacuum. He moves to recounting the events from the perspectives of high-level officials, including Chvez himself, to demonstrate how the stories of ordinary chavista and anti-chavista citizens intertwine with the fates of officials in the highest levels of the Venezuelan government and military. Nelson takes readers from the streets to the halls of the presidential palace, from frightened journalists smuggling tapes of riots back to their stations to be put on the air to a terrified Chvez. For a fuller and fairer picture of the events, the book should be read in conjunction with other accounts of the coup, since Nelson is admittedly biased toward the military figures he interviewed. But his status as a foreigner familiar with the culture of Caracas and an experienced journalist and academic gives him a unique vantage point from which to tell the very personal stories of those three days of chaos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A dramatic retelling of how the 2002 uprising against Hugo Chavez evolved into a violent struggle for the soul of Venezuela and control of its most precious commodity, oil
About the Author
Brian A. Nelsons work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. He teaches at the Center for American and World Cultures at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he lives.
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