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Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela (Brookings Latin America Initiative Books) Paperback – January 7, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Brookings Latin America Initiative Books
  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press; Original edition (January 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815704976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815704973
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the most objective, comprehensive and interesting book I have read on what has happened in Venezuela since Hugo Chávez took power in the late 1990s. It shows why most of the common explanations of the country's social and political convulsions are superficial and often flawed. A must read." —Moisés Naím, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace



"Hugo Chávez and his 'Bolivarian Revolution' to construct '21st century socialism' in Venezuela and reshape the international order have attracted a great deal of polarized comment: either sycophantic praise or unmitigated condemnation, neither backed up by sound data or profound analysis. Dragon in the Tropics escapes this pattern. It provides a thoughtful, perceptive, balanced but critical, nuanced and illuminating assessment, grounded in rich and revealing data, and deep knowledge of both Venezuela and of comparative politics and political economy. Highly recommended." —Abraham F. Lowenthal, Professor of International Relations, University of Southern California



"Corrales and Penfold have written a wide-ranging and thought-provoking interpretation of how Hugo Chávez has shaped Venezuelan society, and the country's regional and global role, over the past decade. The book is conceptually innovative, empirically rich, and cogently argued. Its keen insights into Venezuela's evolving political economy represent an invaluable contribution." —Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue



"Javier Corrales and Michael Penfold are two of the most outstanding analysts of contemporary Venezuela. This accessible and clear-eyed book provides a comprehensive overview of Venezuelan politics, economics, and foreign policy over the last decade. No one interested in understanding the rise of radical populism, the distortions inherent in the oil economy, and the progressive deterioration of democratic institutions should fail to read this book." —Cynthia Arnson, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars



"An engaging and comprehensive portrait of the Chávez government's key economic and political features." — Political Science Quarterly

About the Author

Javier Corrales is a professor of political science at Amherst College and the author of Presidents Without Parties: The Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s (Penn State Press, 2002).

Michael Penfold is professor of political economy and former dean of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion in Caracas and the author of Dos Tradiciones, Un Conflicto: El Futuro de la Descentralización (Debate 2009).

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cander59 on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was looking for an accessible yet complex account of the current regime. Corrales and Penfold's book was precisely what I needed. I found their interpretation of the situation in Venezuela to move the discussion into new ground and provide an illuminating account. The writing is clear yet masterful, their approach integrates the most recent thinking with their own research and synthetic views.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Corrales and Penfold give a very detailed, and well-documented account of how Chavez seized power and kept it. The language is clear and the narrative is fluid and it comprises reliable research for those who want to stay in touch with recent political and social history of Venezuela under the Chavez regime.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JP Molina B on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is much polemic about Chávez and what he has done in Venezuela. This book takes the position that Chávez leads a Hybrid regime, which is an authoritarian regime that has bits and pieces of democracy.

I found the book to be intelligent, well-researched and argued. I have used it as a reliable source of clear arguments that explain key aspects of Chávez's regime.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mmanzanares on May 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dragon in the Tropics, written by two renowned scholar researchers is THE book everyone interested in the Venezuelan downfall should read. It explains, supported by authoritative statistics and well grounded reaearch, why Venezuela has fallen from democracy to a mix of authoritarian,demagogic, populist, anti democratic, semi comunist country. It a must read for politicians, students and all interested in avoiding the mistakes that lead to the destruction of liberties. I recommend this book to the students of countries that, in the path to development, forget to listen the claims of many who are left unatended in the process.
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