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The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers) Paperback – Illustrated, October 29, 2004
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--Robert Goodier, "Tico Times"
"[W]orthwhile. . . . complex and compelling."
--Heather Wisner, "Costa Rica Outdoors"
"Because Costa Rica is a small country, and because its history has been less horrific and dramatic than that of its Central American neighbors, it often receives short shrift in the classroom. This book makes an implicit and convincing argument that the details, the exceptions, and the complexities can be just as important as the generalizations and trends for understanding the whole, and that concerted attention to Costa Rica can deeply enrich our understanding of Latin America."
--Aviva Chomsky, "The Americas"
"Readers of "The Costa Rica Reader "can be assured they are getting a genuinely current 'flavor' of what the country and its people are like, as well as historically grounded materials that help explain the 'why' of this generation's flavor. The editors have deftly drawn together an extraordinarily wide-ranging set of materials, erring quite rightly on the side of brevity and variety. For the student, there are innumerable pathways opened; for the tourist, given the industry's avowed focus on repeat visitors, a single roundtrip flight may not suffice, but the reading will be cover to cover."
--Lowell Gudmundson, "Hispanic American Historical Review"
"The volume's intelligent organization economically encompasses both history and historiography, with special attention to social and cultural issues. . . . Highly recommended."
--J. Ewell," CHOICE"
"This is an essential introduction to a very special country admired by many for its peaceful pursuits. The authors reveal a country with a rich heritage and diverse population."
--Tim Boxer, "15 Minutes Magazine"
About the Author
Steven Palmer is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Windsor in Ontario. He is the author of From Popular Medicine to Medical Populism: Doctors, Healers, and Public Power in Costa Rica, 1800–1940 (published by Duke University Press).
Iván Molina is Professor of History at the University of Costa Rica in San José. He is a coauthor of Stuffing the Ballot Box: Fraud, Electoral Reform, and Democratization in Costa Rica.
- Item Weight : 1.23 pounds
- Paperback : 383 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0822333724
- ISBN-13 : 978-0822333722
- Product Dimensions : 6.18 x 0.94 x 9.26 inches
- Publisher : Duke University Press Books; Illustrated Edition (October 29, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #242,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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THE COSTA RICA READER'S three-part subtitle (`History, Culture, Politics') is honored along the way with an even touch. Everyone with an interest in Costa Rica as more than a tourist destination with great beaches will find between the covers of this recent collection the stuff that builds insight and understanding. This reviewer lived for sixteen years in 'tiquicia', together with its four million 'ticos', 'nicas', and assorted hangers-on. The West Virginia-sized patch of mountainous land with its sought-after beaches (I rarely found time to visit them) continues to maintain its grip on my soul. I wish this 2004 Duke University Press publication had been available about 1988. It would have rendered easier learning the lessons of tiquicia that had to come the hard, honest way.
No matter, it's here now. The editors guide us through a nuanced qualification of `Costa Rican exceptionalism', finding in the tico experience--whether lived by the indigenous groups who were not quite so few and compliant as the national mythology suggests in the face of conquest and marginalization or by the 19th century coffee lords with their debt to German mercantilism or the 1980s Nicaraguan refugee whose task it is to decide with which of her divergent constituencies to identify herself--deep continuities with the rest of Latin American experience as well as a dollop of the country's celebrated idiosyncrasies.
The seventy-odd pieces are brief, illuminating, and usually excerpted from something larger. Individually and as a collection, they leave the reader wanting more.
Which is not unlike Costa Rica itself in the experience of many sojourners there, many of whom will never go back but who at the same time never manage entirely to leave.
Read by this reviewer on a recent working week back in the land it so effectively describes, THE COSTA RICA READER would be highly recommended at twice the price.
The different formats of content (poems, stories, etc.) gives you a holistic understanding of the culture without leaving you bored.