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Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America Paperback – October 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0140172546 ISBN-10: 0140172548

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140172548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140172546
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rosenberg powerfully depicts the endemic violence and corruption of Latin America as well as the ambiguities of American involvement in the region.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Journalist Rosenberg asks a question asked by most foreign observers of Latin America: What inclines its citizens to commit the excessive physical violence against each other that is endemic to the region? To answer this significant question, Rosenberg, rather than focusing on the victim's point of view, the subject of such works as Jacobo Timerman's Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number ( LJ 5/15/81), instead explores the dark side of humanity, those who make such cruelty possible. He presents six fascinating characters in this extraordinary account: an honest Medellin judge, murdered for his integrity; an Argentine naval captain, responsible for the torture and death of hundreds; an active member of the mysterious, fanatic Peruvian Sendero Luminoso ; a representative of the El Salvadorean wealthy class; a Nicaraguan guerrilla turned interior officer; and a Chilean student leader. Highly recommended.
- Roderic A. Camp, Central Coll., Pella, Ia.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Tina Rosenberg, the winner of a MacArthur grant, is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of three books, one of which (The Haunted Land), won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I still recommend the book to others especially students.
PSS
Rosenberg is very competent in summarizing the recent history and the roots of violence in Latin America.
Leonardo Alves
Moreover, Ms. Rosenburg provides the reader with six different cases from six differnet countries.
"wldavenport"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Rosenberg demonstrates the extraordinary ability to reveal a nation's history through an anecdotal tale of one of its citizens. She begins with these individuals to show you the end product _ then retraces the steps of Latin America's dark, recent history to show you how a nightmare became real. Rosenberg not only tells the story of the downtrodden and displaced, but also the story of the "victors," or the elites. It would be difficult to sympathize with anyone responsible for the murder and torture that has plagued Latin America this century, yet Rosenberg reveals the fears of the persecutors, valid or not, with the same perception with which she portrays the persecuted. In addition to nightmarish governmental indifference and inhumanity from all sides, Rosenberg sums up each country's recent history in a brief and concise two or three pages. As a student of, and journalist in, Latin America, "Children of Cain" remains my most worn and dog-eared reference book. I see the faces Tina painted everywhere I go. Neophytes who yearn for a basic understanding of Latin America and seasoned scholars alike will come away with a better understanding of these national histories that seem so foreign. Reading "Children of Cain" will put everything you read afterward into context.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the best book on Latin America I've ever read--it is extremely accessible for people who know nothing about Latin America, and for those who do, it is a major contribution to our understanding of the region. Rosenberg's vinnettes and explanations of the violence seemingly endemic to Latin America are brilliantly written and compelling. She captures the essense of the countries she writes about, and deftly explains their histories so that we understand the reasons for the violence. We can no longer just hear about the violence plaging Latin America and see it as irrational, wondering where it came from. Wonderful portraits of the perpetrators of violence, marking Rosenberg as different from the throngs of writers--journalists and others--who have focused on the victims of violence, on the corpses and grewsome stories. More attention needs to be given to the perpetrators and also those who live with such violence, who watch it and become numb to it, including ourselves. A major contribution to Latin American studies and the study of violence.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "wldavenport" on December 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Not only has Ms. Rosenburg done a spectacular gob in writing an extremely readable book, she provides her audience vivid decriptions using a very personal approach that employs the use of specific people, their experiences and dilemmas. She also provides her audience with the neccessary historical and enviromental (social, politial and economic) information to put these personal and organizational accouts into the cotexts neccessary for reader to truely appriecate the psychology of the forces driving these extaordinary historical events.
Moreover, Ms. Rosenburg provides the reader with six different cases from six differnet countries. From Escobar's Medellin to Argentina's "Dirty War", she examines and analyzes different types of violence motivated by unique sets of circumstances.
I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN; A MUST READ FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN LATIN AMERICA!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Leonardo Alves on June 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the second book by Tina Rosenberg I have read. The first one was Haunted Land about Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, which I also highly recommend. I'm so pleased with Rosenberg's style that I'm after her book on South Africa as well.
For almost a decade Rosenberg traveled through Latin America not shying away from really messy situations trying to make sense of a history of violence and very little respect for human rights. Tina experienced many of the situations herself such as being soaked with diluted acid by the police in the streets of Santiago, Chile, during marches against Pinochet or taking a nightmarish truck bed trip through guerrilla infested Peru. The Latin American economic, political and military elites also had their points of view captured by Rosenberg resulting, as far as I can tell, in a very well balanced collection of personal perspectives on the problem - violence in Latin America - intermingled with background historical information.
Rosenberg is very competent in summarizing the recent history and the roots of violence in Latin America. The author brings the historical review to life by interviewing perpetrators and victims. Violence in Latin America as viewed by Rosenberg emanates from a history of inequality. The native populations and the unwillingly imported black slaves and their descendants have been for five centuries exploited and victimized by greedy white Europeans. The resulting instable societies in turn fall prey of guerrilla groups, organized crime, drug lords, or the old fashioned military economic and political elites. The victimized population looses faith in the state and became passive or takes matters on their own hands solving social problems or even threatening or overthrowing governments.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
Having recently returned from living in South America for two years, I was very interested in reading Tina Rosenbergs work. It did not disappoint me. From the poorest of the poor, to the wealthy untouchables, she captured the feeling of Latin America extremely well. She did this so well because she spent so much time with her subjects.For example, Gladys from Peru, she spent weeks with her, returning often. She did not gloss over the painful life that woman lives. Tina Rosenberg went to the core of why the Latin American countries are the way they are today: poverty and history. Poverty drives a young man in Columbia to do things for money that would turn our stomachs, such as kidnapping and murder; the history of his country and the region has made people too accustomed to this violence. Rosenberg exposes these roots so well, readers will feel that they are amongst the people of these struggling, violent countries
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