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Revolution!: South America and the Rise of the New Left First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In the past five years, Latin America's new cadre of leftist leaders have been struggling to shake off the legacies of faltering economies and military dictatorships that have long haunted the region. Kozloff (Hugo Chavez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the U.S.) offers a series of snapshots of steady transformation, focusing heavily on Venezuela's Chavez and key issues like oil, media and multiculturalism. Compiling current anecdotes and concise historical summaries, Kozloff describes a number of overlapping trends in the region, such as indigenous rights movements and revived labor unions, as well as a widespread desire for economic independence from the United States. Kozloff interprets these similarities as proof of increasing regional integration, but fails to provide adequate hard evidence. If anything, he succeeds in showing how the countries he writes about have moved away from cookie-cutter solutions and are each working to develop equitable societies on their own terms. (Apr.)
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Praise for Revolution!:
"While official Washington and elite media have been mucking about in the Middle East, journalist Nikolas Kozloff has charted his own path amid the terrain-shifting upsurges in 'America's backyard.' He casts a sympathetic but critical eye at the leftward trend in South American politics, the battles over oil and media, the rise of indigenous movements and sometimes erratic populist leaders. If you get your news on Latin America from mainstream media, this wide-ranging book is a needed corrective."--Jeff Cohen, author of Cable News Confidential and founder of the media watch group FAIR
"A much needed antidote to the mainstream media's canting coverage of Latin America. Kozloff is an acute observer of contemporary Latin American politics, and he proves to be an indispensable guide to the ideas, politics, and economics behind the region's yet latest attempt to wrest some wiggle room from Washington, as well as to the possibilities and perils that confront its 'New Left' leaders and activists."--Greg Grandin, author of Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism
Praise for Hugo Chávez:
"Essential reading for all who want to understand modern global politics."--John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
"[Kozloff] lets us in on his travels, Jack Kerouac-style."--Roger Lowenstein, New York Times
Top customer reviews
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The book works well for those wishing to obtain knowledge of what drives these leftist movements, as Latin America is an exceptionally polarized region (save moderates like Brazil and Argentina). For those aligned with the political left and familiar with Latin America some of the information is obvious, but Kozloff also provides fresh insight on the historical nature of these left-shifted movements. For those more aligned with the right, Kozloff's text may be even more beneficial. Commonly, Latin America is consistently viewed as an area of perpetual contemporary happenings, and many disregard the immediate past (mid 20th - 1990) as a time period of "lost years." Kozloff rejects this notion and provides little known (and unfortunately rarely cared about) historical findings that have help foment an anti-right viewpoint by the Latin American proletariat. To put this in perspective; in Latin America, Obama is center-right, while George Bush was far-right. Political concepts of socialism are very strong amongst much of the Latin American popular classes.
Most importantly, Kozloff's text is easy to read. It does not bog the reader with 'ivory-tower' sentence structure or specialized vocabulary. For those who wish to read from 'cover-to-cover' they will find a well organized and informative historical work. For those wishing to expand their knowledge base in certain areas, the book is well indexed and readily appropriate for scholars looking to perform secondary source research.
Despite its limitations, it's a great read, accessible, and a good followup to the classic "Open Veins of Latin America."