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America Latina Hardcover – September, 2002
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I believe this has been achieved by a judicious selection of nine key themes, each within a self contained chapter which balances text and graphics in a soothing manner. The first chapter, for example, on the European "discovery" of Latin America, combines pictures of reprinted maps, with a wonderful account of the forces in Renaissance Europe which ultimately propelled explorers to this little known part of the world. The second chapter on conquest includes title pages from indigenous as well as European manuscripts which provide a balance of different perspectives on these historically controversial encounters between civilizations. I will mention just one more chapter - on the arts of this region. Here, we are treated to wonderful pictorials and text on tango, Bossa Nova, and Cuban music.
Obviously, the presentation by the French journalist who wrote this book is eclectic. But, given the complexity of the region, it is effective.
This would not only make a great "coffee table" book or gift, but is also a very pleasant read for a serious reader of Latin American history and society.