6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
So you want to understand Hugo Chavez,
This review is from: Hugo Chavez: The Definitive Biography of Venezuela's Controversial President (Hardcover)
I bought this book for information for a twenty page college paper on Hugo Chavez, largely on the reccomendation of The Economist. This book was extremely helpful in providing me with an insight into Chavez's personality and potential motives. What I found most interesting was that it demolished the notion of an oil-intoxicated buffoon and replaced it with a shrewd, calculating leader who has mastered the art of theatrics for his own purposes. The authors make a strong case for regarding none of the contreversial president's actions as accidental or the rantings of a madman without sounding like conspiracy types. That being said, they also show a man with a highly unstable personality: volitile, manic,insecure, and in desperate need of affection. Chavez, by their telling, seems to be the product of a brilliant madness, one that produces a control freak who very well knows how to gain the control he needs. The book does not make this argument as carelessly as some; it draws extensively from interviews with those who knew him from childhood, or met him in the army, or through politics. The effect is that the anecdotes vividly potray the transformation from the poor llanero to the conteversial president bashing the rich while dressed in fine Italian suits. As has been stated by a previous reviewer, the book is not a political analysis, but understanding Chavez is crucial to understanding his politics. There is, for him, little seperation between personality and politics. I highly reccomend this book to anyone seeking an in-depth potrayel of the Venezuelan president.