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Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul Paperback – April 14, 2009
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''No one who seriously aspires to discuss Latin American politics, economics, and culture should go without reading Forgotten Continent.'' --National Interest
''Reid's account is essential reading for its clear portrayal of what can be called a post-'Washington consensus' view of Latin America.'' -- Journal of American History
''Reid's book offers something valuable to both specialists and the general reading public . . . He writes of Latin America with great empathy, intelligence, and insight.'' --Hispanic American Historical Review
''[An] intelligent and thoughtful overview . . . Reid offers a serious and well-written synthesis of Latin America's political economy that is meticulously supported by a wealth of data and the work of the best scholars studying the region.'' --Americas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Michael Reid is editor of the Americas section of the Economist. Previously based in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, he has traveled throughout Latin America and reported for the BBC, the Guardian, and the Economist since 1982.
Top Customer Reviews
The thesis of the book is simple: Latin America is torn between reformers - democrats who support free markets and democracy, and populists - who support neither. Reid argues that although the populists have considerable appeal in the region, the tide has turned against them. Unlike previous eras, the current embrace of democracy and capitalism - augmented with a great deal of redistribution policies - is here to last.
Surprisingly for a journalist, Reid's history of Latin American, in three large chapters which take us from the 1820s to the 1990s, is cumbersome and hard to read. It is only when he gets to economic history that Reid, a correspondent for The Economist, hits his stride; A chapter on the development of the Washington Consensus is fascinating; I've read general economic accounts of 1997-1998 crisis (e.g. Paul Krugman's The Return of Depression Economics) and a specific study of Argentina's woes (Paul Bluestein's ...Read more ›
While the text is at times dry (especially in sections heavy on economics), overall it offers a fresh take on a part of the world that does not receive much attention among the popular press. After reading the book, I could not help but to share some of Reid's cautious optimism about the "forgotten continent." This book can be enjoyed both by Latinamericanists and curious newcomers alike.
CD: Well produced with an excellent bilingual reader.
Reid's entry into the currently lively debate about whether Marxism or globalist Capitalism offers the best path forward for Latin America comes down firmly on the side of Capitalism, hardly a surprise since the author is the Economist's writer-at-large for Latin America! What is surprising is the depth of the author's engagement with the region's history and culture. This book is fantastic for those who have an interest in understanding Latin America's economic and political history ... and how the region as a while might move forward into a more prosperous future. Though his work is technically a historical essay, it is quite engaging and is obviously the work of a writer who cares deeply about understanding the Latin American experience from every angle. Though the PhDs will quibble that the book is a journalistic popularization of the subject, I find it to be an excellent synthesis of a truly vast amount of material and an original (and well-written!) contribution to the literature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I believe the book was a great overview of the entire.continent. Where it lacked for me was in the area of the us Mexico border, I felt it could have expanded this issue a... Read morePublished 6 months ago by smiroddi
I enjoyed how Michael showed the challenges that South American countries face and how it was important to the U.S. Read morePublished 8 months ago by RKM
The moment the author didn't include Chavez's Venezuela as a democracy, i found it difficult to read on. The author has clearly been sucked into US propaganda. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Bhammer
This book has a lot of interesting informaiton about the sad situation in the economies of Latin America for a number of decades in the past with a message of some encourgement... Read morePublished on February 3, 2014 by Lance R Hall
This highly readable book is an excellent background to the history of politics and economics that shaped C21 Latin America. Read morePublished on February 16, 2012 by alsy
This book contains a lot of information, but lacks a unifying framework. Not very useful as a guide to the region's politics or economics; it functions like a unhinged collection... Read morePublished on May 25, 2011 by Antonio Andrade
A very informative book on current events in Latin America. An well written as well. A lot different to a lot of the leftist trash written out there about Latin America.Published on November 20, 2010 by Peter Stone