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The Making of Modern Colombia: A Nation in Spite of Itself
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He also provides data to explode the myth that the country is run by a land-owning, violent oligarchy, or that Colombian GDP is mainly drug related, or that the country has historically been more violent than its neighors.
He doesn't make the mistake of allowing his own prejudices to determine what he choses to highlight, while at the same time refraining from moral relativism. He acknowledges both good and bad in all main characters and groups in the country's history, and remains mostly optimistic about its future.
The bibliographic section is priceless, even for Colombians. If you'd like to go beyond generalities and pious nonsense about Colombia, read this book and then, if still interested, round it up with Henderson's "When Colombia Bled" and Safford and Palacios' "Colombia. Fragmented Land, Divided Society". A great list of books on Colombia is available in Amazon.com: just look at Bert Ruiz's "My Favorite Books on Colombia" for more, apposite material.
That being said, as I am sure most history books are like this, it focused a lot on the macro level when it comes to Economics, Politics, Demographics, etc. so with this approach you need to be aware that beneath all of these numbers are stories from people lives, for good and for bad. After reading this book, I would like to read a few more books that get below the surface of these large issues like la violencia or the different guerrilla groups (before this I had only thought of FARC and not the ELN or the M-19), as well as the stories of the workers who's lives were influenced for better or for worse by the movements of industries and the engineering of the country.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good overview of Colombia's complex and challenging history. A history that the country continues to live out.Published 7 months ago by Christian Kolar
Professor David Bushnell contributes another important contribution to a Latin American territorial region from Nueva Granada (New Granada), which was Colombia's former name, as a... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Panama 1821
This book lets you understand the causes of the situation in the country today. This should be a must reading in Colombian schools.Published 17 months ago by Andreas Nicolay
Well researched, but I would like have liked the characters to be personalized more and more attention to summary and highlighting of the various government changes in the... Read morePublished on September 30, 2013 by Barbara Wilson
The Making of Modern Colombia: A Nation in Spite of Itself was better named than written. For me, the writing style is a little awkward and the material to dense for such a short... Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Vivan
Great to know the history of Colombia, David Bushnell has write an excellent review of political and historical facts from spanish conquers to Cesar Gaviria Government.Published on January 16, 2013 by Jose Escobar
I was excited to read this book, but I'm having second thoughts after reaching the 2nd chapter. It has quite a few passages like: "New Granada was different from Spain, not just in... Read morePublished on February 23, 2011 by Rodrigo A. Cardoso
While in need of an update, David Bushnell's comprehensive and insightful review of modern Colombian history provides a solid grounding for anyone attempting to learn about or... Read morePublished on June 25, 2009 by Anthony J. Abbate