Synopses & Reviews
Latin America: An Introduction
offers a contemporary, thematic analysis of the region that is grounded in Latin America's social, political, economic, and cultural past. Based on chapters from Harry Vanden and Gary Prevost's popular text, Politics of Latin America
, this book provides an accessible and interesting discussion of a broad range of topics, including democracy, revolution, indigenous populations, culture, gender, religion, politics, economy, and relations with the United States. Unlike many texts on the region, this book places the voices of long-ignored and previously marginalized groups in Latin America--women, indigenous peoples, Afro-Latinos, workers, peasants, and gays and lesbians--at the heart of its analysis.
Offering balanced regional coverage, the book discusses such recent political, social, and economic developments as the failure of the neoliberal economic policies of the 1980s and 1990s to deliver promised prosperity; the related resurgence of progressive politics in the region, as manifested in the election of numerous left and center-left governments; and the strong role of numerous social movements in setting the region's political agenda in the new century. The authors analyze the continuing power of the United States in the region, as seen in the implementation of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), bilateral trade agreements with Chile and Peru, and the continued funding of Plan Colombia. They also discuss the role of various Latin American-based initiatives, including the expansion of MERCOSUR, the Bolivarian Alternative, and The Bank of the South. Providing a historical perspective for the challenges and problems facing the region today, Latin America: An Introduction's regionally balanced, multidisciplinary approach makes it an ideal text for introduction to Latin American studies courses.
Latin America: An Introduction endeavors to introduce the interested reader to that dynamic region that has come to be know as Latin America. It is based on the introductory section of Politics of Latin America. The text will offer students an accessible and interesting discussion of the key issues/topics of Latin America: democracy, revolution, indigenous population, culture, and relations with the US.
About the Author
is Professor of Political Science at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of several books, including Neoliberalism and Neopanamericanism: The View from Latin America
(2002) and The Bush Doctrine and Latin America
Harry Vanden is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of South Florida. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of several books, including Inter-American Relations in an Era of Globalization (2007) and Latin American Social Movements in the Twenty-First Century: Resistance, Power, and Democracy (2008).
Prevost and Vanden are coauthors of Politics of Latin America, Third Edition (OUP, 2009), and Democracy and Socialism in Sandinista Nicaragua (1993), and coeditors of The Undermining of the Sandinista Revolution (1997).They were both Fulbright scholars in Latin America--Prevost studied in Nicaragua, and Vanden in Peru and Brazil--and have lived and traveled extensively throughout Latin America.
Table of Contents
Maps and Tables
1. An Introduction to Twenty First Century Latin America
2. Early History
3. Democracy, Dictators, and Tio Sam: A Historical Overview from Independence to the Present Day
4. The Other Americans
5. Society, Family, and Gender
6. Religion in Latin America
7. Latin American Culture and Thought
8. The Political Economy of Latin America
9. Democracy and Authoritarianism: Latin American Political Culture
10. Politics, Power, Institutions, and Actors
11. Struggling for Change: Revolution, Social and Political Movements in Latin America
12. United States-Latin American Relations