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Peoples of the Earth: Ethnonationalism, Democracy, and the Indigenous Challenge in "Latin'' America Hardcover – February 15, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0739143919 ISBN-10: 0739143913

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739143913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739143919
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,917,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Peoples of the Earth is about the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere—what is left of them. Focusing on the rise of Native nationalism in the Americas, the book is provocative from historical and ideological perspectives. The rise of the struggle for autonomy is based on globalization and the encroachment of outside forces on indigenous lands. Aside from political autonomy, the cry is for preservation of Indian cultures. The nature of the struggle depends on the nation-state that the particular indigenous nation finds itself within. Mexico leads in the number of Native people with 12 million natives, 14.3 percent of the population. (The CIA World Fact Book lists 30 percent of Mexicans as Amerindian). Only in Bolivia have Native Americans gained a semblance of power, with the rise of Evo Morales as president....Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. (CHOICE)

Martin Edwin Andersen's text is a much needed commentary and examination of comparative ethnic nationalism pertaining to the indigenous peoples of Latin America. Often treated as outside of the sociopolitical realm, this population's political mobilization in recent decades has forced governments and intellectuals alike to acknowledge its consequential force as a political power. (Johns Hopkins University Sais Alumni News No. 50)

Martin Edwin Andersen presents a fascinating and comprehensive perspective on Latin American history focusing on the lesser told but nonetheless important story of indigenous rights across the Western Hemisphere. . . . The author's historical expertise, intimate regional awareness, and comprehensive knowledge of the literature are evident throughout. The documentation of the sources used is also impressive, with fully thirty pages of bibliographic references chock-full of important sources . . . providing researchers with a tremendous resource. Over thirty-five pages of highly detailed endnotes are a further reflection of the depth of scholarship and the meticulousness of the author's research. . . . It deserves to be widely read, from the classroom to the forward operating base, filling a need in the field for such a holistic and comprehensive approach to state-tribal relations - in the Americas, and beyond. (The Culture and Conflict Review)

Peoples of the Earth: Ethnonationalism, Democracy, and the Indigenous Challenge in 'Latin' America by Martin Edwin Andersen presents a fascinating and comprehensive perspective on Latin American history focusing on the lesser told but nonetheless important story of indigenous rights across the hemisphere…The narrative flows naturally and smoothly, and with a rapid pace and energetic style making the manuscript a delight to read, blending the best of academic analysis with a refreshing journalistic pacing….This work deserves to be widely read, from the classroom to the forward operating base, and to remain in print for many years to come, as it fills a need in the field for such a holistic and comprehensive approach to state-tribe relations, in the Americas and around the world. (Thesourdough.Com)

Peoples of the Earth responds to the need for a text that opens a new dimension of Latin American area studies. The work is highly original, insightful, and presents an even handed representation of the issues. The highest praise that can be given to any academic writing is that it stimulates thought, discussion and further research. Anderson has done just that with Peoples of the Earth….This book is the perfect counterbalance to the traditionalist Latin America area specialist and its insights should be part of any curriculum dealing with the region. (Security and Defense Studies Review)

Peoples of the Earth is a rich and well documented work that not only covers several dimensions of the problem of incorporation of indigenous peoples, but also follows a clear agenda that aims at intervention and influencing policy design. It is therefore a book that should be read as both an academic piece of work and, perhaps more importantly, as a contribution to the political analysis for the accomplishment of indigenous demands and needs. (Journal Of Multilingual & Multicultural Development)

Martin Edwin Anderson’s Peoples of the Earth adds to the proliferation of studies related to contemporary processes of politicization of ethnicity in Latin America. (Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies)

Scholars in the field of comparative ethnic nationalism have long been frustrated by the nearly total absence of information concerning the indigenous peoples of Latin America. They have been treated as outside of the sociopolitical realm, slighted by their governments and intellectuals, as well as by writers from outside Latin America. Political mobilization in recent decades among the indigenes of the Andean Cordillera from Mexico to Bolivia has belatedly forced their governments and the outside world to acknowledge them as a consequential force, but insightful, comparative analysis of these movements and their likely outcomes is needed. Martin Edwin Andersen's manuscript is a giant step in meeting that need. (Walker Connor, Trinity College, Hartford)

Peoples of the Earth addresses the inconvenient question of what Indian/indigenous political empowerment means for Latin American democracy and security. Andersen explores the topics of mobilization, ideology, and ethnic identity in an innovative manner to examine the impact of indigenous mobilization on the nation state. This is a unique and honest discussion of a topic that is often obscured by ideology and foreign policy goals. The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in indigenous mobilization, the deepening of democratic inclusion, and regional stability issues. (Dr. Jennifer S. Holmes, associate professor of Political Economy and Political Science at the University of Texas at Dallas)

There are few things as controversial and sensitive as the the indigenous issue in Latin America, and even fewer as well studied as Martin Edwin Andersen does in Peoples of the Earth. For anyone who wishes to understand the issue, with sympathy or skepticism, this is a must read. (Jorge G. Castañeda, author of Utopia Unarmed)

With the end of the Cold War and the rise of new communication technologies conditions exist for creating "more perfect" democratic political systems in nations where significant populations have had their voices denied or limited for decades. Individuals wishing to understand that potential for the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere would do well to read Peoples of the Earth, a volume which lays out the main issues which will be confronted by those wishing to give greater political voice to the indigenous populations of the Americas in the 21st century. (Louis W. Goodman, Dean of the School of International Service at American University)

Peoples of the Earth is probably the most honest and comprehensive examination and analysis available of the dozen of indigenous social movements that have erupted in the Western hemisphere since the end of the Cold War….A well-written, encyclopedic account of the indigenous awakening in the Western Hemisphere. The book is unique in that it represents the highest quality in social science, yet still provides all of the information needed by analysts to see the wide range of security threats posed by indigenous activism and state responses in the Western Hemisphere. It is well worth reading and could lead to the formulation of proactive security strategies that neutralize the explosive potential of this post-Cold War phenomenon. (Dr. Patricia Olney, Associate Professor of Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University and specializes in Latin American security iss)

Review

"Scholars in the field of comparative ethnic nationalism have long been frustrated by the nearly total absence of information concerning the indigenous peoples of Latin America. They have been treated as outside of the sociopolitical realm, slighted by their governments and intellectuals, as well as by writers from outside Latin America. Political mobilization in recent decades among the indigenes of the Andean Cordillera from Mexico to Bolivia has belatedly forced their governments and the outside world to acknowledge them as a consequential force, but insightful, comparative analysis of these movements and their likely outcomes is needed. Martin Edwin Andersen's manuscript is a giant step in meeting that need."-- Walker Connor, author of Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orlando J. Perez on February 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Martin Andersen's book is timely, well research, and well written. This book is essential for anyone who is interested in understanding the politics of ethnic nationalism in Latin America, and by extension the developing world. Andersen makes extensive use of primary and secondary sources to weave an interesting and thoughtful narrative that analyzes the roots of ethnic nationalism in Latin America, and places key national cases into comparative perspective. The book's interdisciplinary approach helps it bridge various academic traditions, and provides a more comprehensive picture of this most important topic. Understanding ethnic nationalism is essential to understanding politics in contemporary Latin America; from the rise of Evo Morales in Bolivia to civil wars in Peru and Guatemala, ethnic nationalism has been at the heart of social and revolutionary movements in the region for the past 50 years. Finally, Andersen addresses the critical, but seldom touched, issue of the connection between current security problems and explicitly ethnic nationalist appeals. The concerns in this area go far beyond irrendist movements, and may affect questions of terrorism and territorial integrity. Andersen's book is an essential component for those interested in the answer to a fundamental question for Latin American politics: How do countries incorporate ethnic groups (in some cases forming majorities of the population) into the political, social and economic life of the nation-state while maintaining political stability and territorial integrity? How nations respond to that challenge will affect the prospects for democratic regimes in Latin America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. King on September 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Bursting with geopolitical insights, "Peoples of the Earth" provides a much needed analysis of issues and trends relating to indigenous rights in Latin America. The well balanced arguments for indigenous empowerment and just governance are a far cry from the binary caricatures often subscribed by the vocal fringes of the far left and the far right. Whereas the right often portrays indigenes as "hopelessly ignorant, shiftless and lazy" and a block to economic progress (pp146), leaders such as Chavez, Morales, Ortega and Correa have had demagogic success in coopting long term dissatisfaction to achieve power, while at the same time actively dismantling the very checks and balances such as a free press, independent judiciary, and political opposition that provide the foundation for democratic freedom.

In the 1920s the Soviet Comintern expressed an interest in popularizing indigenous nationalism as part of their effort to export the Revolution to the Americans, yet by 1932 lasting until 1941 this cooled in the face of potential unrest in their own periphery amongst Poles, Finns, Belorusians, Crimean Tartars, Chechens and other like peoples, which oft times resulted in ethnic cleansing, (pp40) . However the Marxist dichotomy of class struggle persisted on the Latin American left, casting those of European origin as bourgeoisie and the indigenous population as luckless peasants, which was a gross simplification amounting to a different form ideological colonization that suppressed a rich diversity of native cultures. Up until the 1990s indigene activism tended to be based overtly on economic class, party lines or religion but increasingly it's become more oriented on ethnic lines.
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Format: Hardcover
Peoples of the Earth: Ethnonationalism, Democracy, and the Indigenous Challenge in "Latin'' America by Martin Edwin Andersen presents a fascinating and comprehensive perspective on Latin American history focusing on the lesser told but nonetheless important story of indigenous rights across the hemisphere.

This comparative study presents a sweeping journey across the Americas, from end to end, with important insights for the fields of indigenous studies, comparative politics, and strategic studies, helping to rebalance the field of 'Latin' American studies so that it includes the indigenous 'Peoples of the Earth' who survived the arrival of European settlers and conquerors, and who have long been a submerged but potent political force that is now emerging to transform the political dynamics of many Central and South American nations, united in their aspiration to reclaim their often unacknowledged, and at times suppressed, contribution to the history and politics of our hemisphere.

One of this book's many strengths is its sheer breadth of study, chock-full of country case studies based on meticulous research, with impressive use of sources. The author is familiar with 'Latin' America, having covered the region as a journalist and author, with two prior books published on the region's political and military history. Peoples of the Earth combines his wealth of knowledge and insight spanning numerous countries, primarily in Central and South America but with insights also drawn from the struggles of Native peoples in the United States and Canada.
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More About the Author

Martin Edwin "Mick" Andersen has a long history working with, advocating the rights of, and reporting on Native Americans in the United States and in Central and South America and Mexico. Andersen has worked under the direction of noted cultural anthropologist Henry Farmer Dobyns on tribal development issues on the Kaibab Paiute Indian reservation in Arizona (1975) and was a founding board member of the Amazon Alliance for Indigenous and Traditional Peoples (1993). He covered Indian issues as a reporter in Madison, Wisconsin, and from Washington, D.C., where his Op-Ed submissions have regularly appeared in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Times.

In 1981, he was one of the first non-Peruvian journalists to cover the Shining Path insurgency from their mountain stronghold in Ayacucho. Andersen consistently sought to bring indigenous rights issues to the fore at the New York-based human rights group, Freedom House, where he served as senior analyst on Latin America and the Caribbean from 1997 to 2006. He has also twice provided written testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives on indigenous rights issues. In 2009, he served as the lead consultant on native peoples in the Western Hemisphere to the Democracy Project for the Organization of American States (OAS).

As a professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, working directly for Senate Majority Whip Alan M. Cranston (D.-Calif.), Andersen was the staff author of a bill, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, that required coverage of the rights of indigenous peoples in the annual State Department country reports on human rights. He has also worked with Indian groups in Guatemala as a consultant for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

In 1995 Andersen produced an on-site study as a consultant in La Paz, Bolivia, for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which provided for the creation of a rural police force that incorporated that country's indigenous peoples on their own terms, offering them the means and authorities for their physical and juridical security while protecting their lands and natural resources.

Andersen is the author of several scholarly works on Indian issues, both in the United States and in Latin America, including "Chiapas, Indigenous Rights and the Coming Fourth World Revolution," The SAIS Review, (Summer-Fall 1994); "Derecho Consuetudinario Consolidado y Reivindicación Indígena en los Estados Unidos," presented at the Inter-American Development Bank's Foro Nacional de Justicia in Guatemala City, November 1996; "Failing States, Ungoverned Spaces and the Indigenous Challenge in Latin America," in the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies' Security and Defense Studies Review (August 2006), and "Indian Nationalism, Democracy and the Future of the Nation-State in Center and South America," in Richard Millett, et. al, (Eds.), Latin American Democracy: Emerging Reality or Endangered Species (Routledge, 2008).

Two books on Argentine history written by Andersen--La Policia: Pasado, Presente y Propuestas para el Futuro (Sudamericana, 2002) and Dossier Secreto: Argentina's Desaparecidos and the Myth of the "Dirty War" (Westview, 1993), received critical acclaim, the latter praised by The New York Times as "a tour de force." During his time as director for Latin American and Caribbean programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), and the founder of their Civil-Military Project, he was also the editor of Hacía una Nueva Relación: El papel de las Fuerzas Armadas en un Gobierno Democrático (1990), a book used as a civil-military relations primer in several countries in transition to democracy.

A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Andersen also holds an M.A. in American history from the Catholic University of America, where he is enrolled in the history department's Ph.D. program, with a proposed dissertation on the role of ethical dissent in U.S. foreign policy. He is a board member of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Ethnic Research (CER) and is vice president of the Midwest Association of Latin American Studies (MALAS).

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