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The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Boliviaby Benjamin Dangl
Synopses & Reviews
New social movements have emerged in Bolivia over the “price of fire”—access to basic elements of survival like water, gas, land, coca, employment, and other resources. Though these movements helped pave the way to the presidency for indigenous coca-grower Evo Morales in 2005, they have made it clear that their fight for self-determination doesn’t end at the ballot box. From the first moments of Spanish colonization to today’s headlines, The Price of Fire offers a gripping account of clashes in Bolivia between corporate and people’s power, contextualizing them regionally, culturally, and historically.
Benjamin Dangl has worked as an independent journalist throughout Latin America, writing for publications such as Z Magazine, The Nation, and The Progressive. He is the editor of TowardFreedom.com, a progressive perspective on world events, and UpsideDownWorld.org, an online magazine covering activism and politics in Latin America. Benjamin won a 2007 Project Censored Award for his coverage of US military operations in Paraguay.
“Price of Fire is not yet another bleak ‘tell-all’ account of globalization, its pages are filled with stories of resistance, struggle and, above all, hope.”—Teo Ballvé, editor of the NACLA Report on the Americas and co-editor of Dispatches from Latin America
“Ben Dangl takes the reader on an unforgettable and inspiring journey through Bolivia and neighboring countries, providing a window on the revolutionary struggles of the poor and dispossessed, and particularly on the resurgence of indigenous resistance and leadership.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War
“Most Americans know nothing of Bolivia, an ignorance that only plays into the hands of empire. Ben Dangl’s book is both informative and inspiring, a cure for the apathy that grows from that ignorance. A must-read for those already interested in solidarity with Latin America and indigenous people.”—Tom Hayden, author of The Zapatista Reader and Street Wars
“Ben Dangl has found himself under the skin of the Bolivian freedom struggle: he accurately represents its constraints, its opportunities, and its hopes.”—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World
“With great empathy and lucid prose, Dangl captures the exemplary courage that has put Latin America in the vanguard of the new internationalism and has made it one of the few bright spots on an otherwise dismal global landscape.”—Greg Grandin, author of Empire’s Workshop
"Price of Fire by Ben Dangl informs, outrages, and builds hope. People’s movements for societal betterment in South America are an inspiration for human rights activists worldwide and Dangl gives us a full serving of encouragement and hope. He documents how historical imperialism, dominated my US corporate/government capital interests, is being successfully challenged by indigenous activists. Price of Fire is the story of cultural resistance from the street to international geo-political alliances. I highly recommend this book for working people, students, and radical democrats to hear the voices of South American people and their chronicle of grassroots democratic empowerment."—Peter Phillips, Professor Sociology, Sonoma State University, Director Project Censored, and co-editor with Dennis Loo of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney
Bolivia's powerful social movements and the forces they're up against.
Cultural Writing. Latino/Latina Studies. New social movements have emerged in Bolivia over the "price of fire" - access to basic elements of survival like water, gas, land, coca, employment, and other resources. Though these movements helped pave the way to the presidency for indigenous coca-grower Evo Morales in 2005, they have made it clear that their fight for self-determination doesn't end at the ballot box. From the first moments of Spanish colonizatin to today's headlines, THE PRICE OF FIRE offers a gripping account of clashes in Bolivia between corporate and people's power, contextualizing them regionally, culturally, and historically.
Bolivia has been at the forefront of Latin America's leftward shift. The country's recent history provides a case study of both the ravages of neo-liberal economic policies and the powerful social movements rising up to overturn them. Bolivia's social struggles over the ownership of resources such as water and gas have been as heroic as they are instructive. Conflicts related to International Monetary Fund policies and the war on drugs offer important lessons about corporate globalization and US foreign policy. The election of Evo Morales, Latin America's first indigenous president, as well as his delicate relationship with the social movements on which his administration depends, raises important questions for the future.
The Price of Firegives a blow-by-blow account of these battles, while also contextualizing them regionally and historically. From the first moments of Spanish colonization to today's headlines, it traces the story of a small nation whose natural resources helped fund the rise of capitalism and that has spent the subsequent four centuries suffering the consequences. A primer on the history of resistance to corporate globalization in Latin America, Benjamin Dangl's far-reaching and penetrating analysis uses Bolivia's story to tell a much larger tale that will only become more important to activists, academics, and general readers who want to understand the latest news.
About the Author
Benjamin Dangl is an independent journalist with one foot in Latin America and the other in the United States. He is the editor of TowardFreedom.com, which offers progressive perspectives on world events and UpsideDownWorld.org, an online magazine uncovering activism and politics in Latin America. He won a 2007 Project Censored Award for his reporting on US military operations in Paraguay.
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