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Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society (Latin American Histories) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195046175
ISBN-10: 019504617X
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  • Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society (Latin American Histories)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is solid, well-informed political and economic history of a traditional sort...will help remedy the misunderstanding and scholarly neglect of Colombia so often lamented by Colombianists." --The Americas

"A first rate survey."--Choice

"Safford and Palacios' book is the best single volume introduction to the history of Colombia. The authors provide an intelligent, sophisticated and accessible synthesis that is a pleasure to read. It is ideal for classroom use."--Lyman L. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

About the Author

Frank Safford is at Northwestern University. Marco Palacios is at El Colegio de Mexico.
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Product Details

  • Series: Latin American Histories
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019504617X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195046175
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.7 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most academics in the field concede that this is the most comprehensive single-source on Colombia's history. The work on the 19th Century is particularly strong. My only misgiving is that the contemporary period is somewhat thin, and as such some of the present debates are about especially the armed groups are not as detailed as they could be. That said, this should be the starting point for anyone wishing to study Colombian history from pre-independence to the end of the National Front (1974).
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Format: Hardcover
A brilliant book...well written and meticulously researched. "Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society" easily exceeds the legendary work of American graybeard...David Bushnell. This book is essential reading for anyone attempting to obtain a special competence in Colombian affairs. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book should be considered an economic history of Colombia, not a general history of the country. Economic developments, conflicts, and resolutions are discussed in great detail, while other aspects of history, such as politics, seem to be included only insofar as they give a basic setting and context for the economic discussions.

Perhaps the most alarming flaw of this book is the near total lack of sources. The authors state their sources only on occasion, and often only when taking a direct quote. Other times, they make general references to "scholars", without naming any in specific. But by and large, the authors merely state facts. This is upsetting for any serious reader. Anyone, scholar or otherwise, who believes to be such an authority on a certain topic that they can simply make statements without any sort of justification or proof is gravely mistaken, and is even doing harm. Reporting the sources used to make certain statements is absolutely essential for others to examine and then verify or reject the author's assertions. This method of review and critique is the foundation of academic work. That the authors of this book chose to omit their sources is unacceptable.

Some critically important political events in Colombian history are barely touched. For example, the theft of Panama by the United States is contained to 4 pages, and even then, Safford's explanation of the resolution is about as deep as, "after the Panama melon dispute was settled..." (p.220-221).

Other stories are not fully explained, leaving gaps in the chronology and making assertions by the authors and reappearance of certain historical figures quite a surprise. For example, on p.
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