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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-10-26
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Now thoroughly updated in its ninth edition, Modern Latin America is a vivid interpretive history and a leading interdisciplinary text in the field. Featuring stimulating, anecdotal boxes, it uses case studies to discuss the primary countries and patterns of development in the region over the past 200 years. At every juncture, Peter H. Smith and James N. Green continue the impeccable scholarship of Thomas E. Skidmore. They examine such central themes as the Iberian-New World interaction, racial prejudices and policy, economic strategies, military developments, and U.S. interventionism in Latin America.

Author Biography

Peter H. Smith is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Simón Bolívar Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

James N. Green is the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University.

Thomas E. Skidmore was the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University.

Table of Contents



1. Why Latin America?
Implications for the United States
Contrast and Paradox
Interpretations of Latin America
Explaining Authoritarianism
Understanding Democracy
Ideas and Themes in This Book

2. The Colonial Foundations
Prelude to Conquest
The European Context
Colonial Spanish America
Portuguese America: A Different World?
Independence for Latin America
The Colonial Response
Independence in Spanish America
The Aftermath of Independence
The Brazilian Path
The Pull of the International Economy


3. Mexico: The Taming of a Revolution
From Colony to Nationhood
The North American Invasion
Reform, Monarchy, and the Restored Republic
The Díaz Era: Progress at a Price
The Mexican Revolution
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
Order, Stability, and Growth
Reshaping Economic Policy
North American Free Trade
The System Unravels
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)
Return of the Leviathan? And Abrupt Departure?

4. Central America: Within the U.S. Orbit
From Colony to Nationhood
Independence Movements
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Coffee and Bananas
Social Developments
Politics and Policy: Panama
Politics and Policy: El Salvador
Politics and Policy: Guatemala
Politics and Policy: Honduras
Politics and Policy: Costa Rica

5. Cuba: Key Colony, Socialist State
From Colony to Nationhood
Dubious Independence
The Bronze Titan
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
Fidel Castro and the Batista Regime
The Cuban Revolution
Framing U.S. Policies
The Bay of Pigs
The Missile Crisis
The Hardening of U.S. Policy
Policy Experimentation
Consolidating the Regime
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)

6. The Andes: Soldiers, Oligarchs, and Indians
From Colony to Nationhood
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Peru: From Guano to Minerals
Bolivia: Silver, Tin, and Gas
Ecuador: From Cacao to Petroleum
Social Transformations
Politics and Policy: Peru
Flirting with Policy Alternatives
The Military Revolution
Struggles of Civilian Governments
Fujimori's Controlled Democracy
Politics and Policy: Bolivia
The Chaco War (1932-1935)
The Revolution of 1952
Military Rule and Popular Resistance
Politics and Policy: Ecuador
Caudillos, Conservatives, and Liberals
Cacao, Prosperity, and Turmoil
Bananas and Dictators

7. Colombia: Civility and Violence
From Colony to Nationhood
Independence and Its Aftermath
Creating Political Parties
Rafael Núñez and the Politics of Regeneration
The Loss of Panama
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
Gaitán, Reaction, and La Violencia
The National Front
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)
Kinder and Gentler

8. Venezuela: The Perils of Prosperity
From Colony to Nationhood
Coffee and Caudillos
Gunboats and Diplomacy
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
Punto Fijo Democracy
Ossification of the System
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)
Conflicts with Uncle Sam
The Limits of Participatory Democracy
Chavismo without Chávez?

9. Argentina: Progress, Stalemate, Discord
From Colony to Nationhood
Struggles for Supremacy
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
The Military Turns Back the Clock
Peronism and Perón
Stop-and-Go Politics
The Bureaucratic-Authoritarian Solution
Peronists Back in Power
The Military Returns
Back to the Future: Democracy Again
The Unperonist Peronist
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)

10. Chile: Repression and Democracy
From Colony to Nationhood
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
From Instability to Popular Front
The Era of Party Politics
Socialism via Democracy?
Countdown to a Coup
The Pinochet Regime
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)

11. Brazil: The Awakening Giant
From Colony to Nationhood
Dom Pedro I (1822-1831)
Dom Pedro II (1840-1889)
End of the Empire
Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
Politics and Policy: Patterns of Change
The First Republic (1889-1930)
Getúlio Vargas and the Estado Novo
The Second Republic (1946-1964)
Military Rule
From Liberalization to Redemocratization
Cardoso in Charge
The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)
End of an Era?


12. Strategies for Economic Development
Narratives of Backwardness
The Liberal Era (1880s-1920s)
Social Transformations under Liberalism
Import-Substitution Industrialization (ISI) (1930s-1970s)
ISI in Theory
ISI in Practice
The Socialist Alternative (1950s-1980s)
Revolutionary Movements
Neoliberalism (1980s-present)
Free Trade
The Crash of 2008
Poverty and Inequality
Inequality and Income Distribution

13. Dynamics of Political Transformation
Categories for Analysis
Oligarchic Rule and Top-Down Reform (1880s-1920s)
Co-optative Democracy
Populism and Dictatorship (1930s-1970s)
Women and Politics
A Surge of Democracy
Bureaucratic-Authoritarian Regimes
The Revolutionary Path (1950s-1980s)
Liberation Theology
An Expansion of Democracy (1980s-Present)
Empowerment of Women
The Rise-And Apparent Decline--of the New Left
The Pulse of Democratic Change
Dangers of Democracy
Democracy Made Safe
Democracy Turns Left, Then Right?

14. Culture and Society
From Colonies to Nations
National Identities and Internal Divides
Literature, Art, and Ideas in a World Economy
Realism and Naturalism
Nationalism, Radical Politics, and Turbulent Times
Brazilian Modernism
Revolutionary Art and Literature
Rethinking Race
The Making of Mass Media
Popular Culture, Theater, and Sports
Latin American Culture Enters a World Market
Innovative Architecture
Revolutionary Culture
The Literary Boom
Dictatorship, Democracy, and New Social Movements
Films, Pop Music, and the Internet
15. Latin America in the World Arena, 1800s-1990s
Imperialism in the Americas
America's Aspirations
The Rise of U.S. Influence
Consolidating U.S. Power
The Cold War
The Logic of Cold War
Cold War in Latin America
The Nationalist Impulse
The Revolutionary Challenge
The Alliance for Progress
Development and Debt
Bill Clinton and Latin America

16. Latin America in the World Arena, 2000-Present
George Bush and Latin America
Barack Obama's War
Obama and Latin America
Donald Trump and Latin America
Confronting the United States
Seeking Outside Allies
The Intermestic Agenda
Drug Trafficking
Drug Policy Debates
Perspectives on the Future


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