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Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1844675524
ISBN-10: 1844675521
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This fascinating study—deeply informed, penetrating in its analysis, comprehensive in scope—explores the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Venezuelan initiatives of recent years, the conflicts they have engendered, the achievements and pitfalls, the animating ideals of a genuinely participatory society, and the prospects for realizing them in ways that, if successful, might have significant impact not only for Latin America but well beyond.”—Noam Chomsky

“Gregory Wilpert’s book combines academic insight with perspectives gained from living in Venezuela through the tumultuous years of the Chavez administration. His book offers the best general introduction to the complex politics of a country and a leader making a profound impact on global politics at the dawn of this new century.”—Daniel Hellinger

“Greg Wilpert knows Venezuela intimately and gives us the most thorough and objective analysis of the Chavez government’s policies we are likely to find. A thoughtful and useful book for the 21st century and, let us hope, beyond.”—Susan George

“Wilpert presents a detailed, comprehensive and balanced account of the Bolivarian revolution.”—Science & Society

About the Author

Gregory Wilpert is a sociologist, freelance journalist, and a former US Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (June 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844675521
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675524
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a great book which covers many different aspects of the Chavez government, as well as giving some background into the country politics, before and during Chavez. It is a great book since it not only presents some facts, but also makes good analysis of the ongoing politics in Venezuela. This is a must for anyone who wants to know more on Venezuela and the Chavez politics.
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This book unlike any other book written on the Hugo Chavez governments policies went into a great detail on how well the Chavez government has been performing in its attempts to ride the country of judicial corruption, reform land distribution, building cooperatives, spending of social security for Venezuela's poor. It is not only a book filled with rhetoric for left wing writers but had concrete facts and figures about the Chavez revolution. I would throughly recommend this book, if you were trying to research the effects of the Chavez governments economic and social policies.
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Format: Paperback
Gregory Wilpert, a freelance writer based in Venezuela's capital Caracas, has written a very useful study of the history and policies of the Chavez government in Venezuela. He examines its governance policy, economic policy, social policy and foreign policy. He looks at the opportunities, obstacles and prospects facing the Venezuelan people, and explores Chavez's ideas of 21st-century socialism.

In 1998, the people elected Hugo Chavez President, with 56.2 per cent of the votes. In the 2004 recall referendum, he won 58 per cent of the votes and in the 2006 election, 62.9 per cent.

Wilpert notes that the previous ruling class's counter-revolutionary acts against the Chavez government have each radicalised the government. He also notes that between 2001 and 2005, the US state sent $27 million to opposition groups.

The government is promoting micro-credits, cooperatives, worker co-management, efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and skills training and logistical support to help people to start coops and social enterprises. Its social programmes have cut poverty from 44 percent to 38 per cent.

Wilpert shows how the Chavez government is trying to move from representative democracy to a more participatory democracy.

This is an excellent introduction to the history and policies of the Chavez government, joining Eva Golinger's The Chavez code, and Bart Jones' Hugo! The Hugo Chavez story: from mud hut to perpetual revolution.
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Format: Paperback
The author, who for several years has been running the excellent web page, [...] is one of the best specialists in Venezuela today. He with his wife Carol Delgado (whom he credits in the acknowledgements as being in effect a co-author) have compiled the most insightful book about the changes that Venezuela has undergone at every level.

He does not avoid the problems and shortcomings of the Bolivarian Revolution. His extensive work with integral thinker Ken Wilber deepens his analysis as he uncovers layer upon layer of governance and culture to understand the true reality of what is happening. The most comprehensive and well-written report on the social experiment that the whole world is watching. Invaluable.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to read one book on Venezuela read this one. Greg Wilpert gives the reader an in-depth view of the economic, social and political changes occurring in Venezuela. As indicated by his very informative title, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power, Wilpert shows how Chavez's election in 1998 has led to 1: the growth of social programs that benefit the popular classes, and 2: the growth of popular power, e.g. communal councils. Through the growth of communal councils, participatory budgeting, etc., Venezuelans at the grass roots and community level are increasing determining how their communities are run, where government money goes, and what kind of society the majority want. Wilpert shows that although there are some real problems in Venezuela, , Venezuela is today more democratic than it was when Chavez was elected and most people are better off economically.
I recommend this book very highly. I just returned from 10 weeks in Venezuela and had read many books about Venezuela before visiting This book by Greg Wilpert helped me more than any other one in understanding the current politics and economics of Venezuela. It is an important counter to what much of our mass media is telling us.
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