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The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1904859338
ISBN-10: 190485933X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Benjamin Dangl is an independent journalist with one foot in Latin America and the other in the United States. He is the editor of TowardFreedom.com, which offers progressive perspectives on world events and UpsideDownWorld.org, an online magazine uncovering activism and politics in Latin America. He won a 2007 Project Censored Award for his reporting on US military operations in Paraguay.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190485933X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904859338
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For anyone wanting to learn more about the exciting social movements that are rocking Bolivia and transforming the continent, I highly recommend this informative book. Benjamin Dangl has really done an amazing job bringing to life the various struggles of working-class Bolivians to reclaim the basic elements of survival like water, gas, land, and dignified jobs. More than just the triumphant story of the people's movement to elect the indigenous leader Evo Morales, this book is about the popular resistance of Bolivian miners, farm workers, factory workers, and students to the economic and political catastrophes caused by neoliberalism. Internationalist in perspective, this book interlinks the Bolivian revolution with revolutionary movements in Venezuela and Argentina. As someone interested in integrating art and politics, I found the chapter on Bolivian hip hop, street theater, and Mujeres Creando to be especially fascinating and imagine that others involved in, say, building giant street puppets, painting public murals, or writing folk music would enjoy this as well. As the poorest nation in South America, a nation burdened with the tragic history of Operation Condor and the military dictatorship of Hugo Banzer, Bolivia is helping to pave the way for justice, peace, and liberation in Latin America.
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Format: Paperback
As a North American, the media, if it reports about Latin America, our southern neighbors, at all, it is usually muddled and simplified. I am always skeptical when all the media is biased in union and regurgitating the same refrains. I always have to make an extensive effort to get even a basic understanding of what is really happening in the "Other Americas".

This book is a clear window. It contextualizes events instead of using a broad stroke for the entire continent. It makes clear and startling connections between what is happening down there and the United States deliberate and active roles in it and in their history and current events.

For anyone curious about the social changes and revolutions happening down there, for anyone desiring an unmuddled view of Latin America and its past events, get this book.

This is from an independent journalist without corporations he needs to please. Definitely recommended. An inspiring, thought provoking read.

(Thank you AK Press for sending me this as my monthly book for being a Friend of AK Press!)
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Format: Paperback
Things across Latin America look like they've heating up in the last five years to the breaking point. After decades of military rule, right-wing forces, banana republics, and domination by foreign companies, governments in Latin America crushing left-wing movements and people fighting the old orders of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, it really looks like those days are through. Social movements are no longer an isolated thing. From the autonomous movements in Argentina, to the Landless People's Movement in Brazil, to even (to some extent) charismatic left-wing rulers like Hugo Chavez, to the Zapatistas and their supporters in southern Mexico, it looks like from this vantage point in the mid-atlantic region of the United States, that Latin America has some really big things going on right now. Bolivia is no different.

"The Price of Fire" explores struggles and movements in Bolivia, focusing on the last five years. The book's title refers to what many of the struggles there are tied around: the simple price of fire, or gas for heating. Dangl talks about many different issues going on there, and especially issues like the coca trade, access to water after the government privatizes the water and begins billing people for it, and the community mobilization across the country in response. These uprisings are called "wars", like the Water War and the Gas War, for very good reasons.

One interesting aspect is that the coca leaf is used as a symbol of resistance. Coca can be processed into cocaine, but it's also a main ingredient in coca-cola and is used locally as medicine. Because of the US insistence as a part of the "War on Drugs", the government and sometimes US Forces, regularly bomb, destroy, and prosecute coca farmers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased for a birthday gift for couple who spent a year in South America. Seemed pleased to continue reading about the area.
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