Uruguay's Jose Batlle y Ordonez: The Determined Visionary, 1915-1917

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-11-15
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner
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If one died and could not reach heaven, went the saying in Latin America during the presidency of José Batlle y Ordoñez, one might get at least as far as Batlle¿s Uruguay. José Batlle was committed to a vision of advanced democracy that included a plural executive (the Colegiado), state-run enterprises, an eight-hour-maximum workday, women¿s rights, and the abolition of the death penalty. In 1915-1917, having completed his second term, he was battling on toward a revision of the Uruguayan constitution that he hoped would embody that vision. Batlle¿s ideas proved to be too much for voters to accept. Nevertheless, he skillfully rescued part of his program and laid the groundwork for future reforms. As masterfully related in this concluding volume of Milton Vanger¿s trilogy, the story of Batlle and this short episode in Uruguay¿s history is significant far beyond its time. Even today, the president and his legacy loom over current politics in the country much as FDR and the New Deal Coalition do in the United States. Arguably, no other single topic is more important in Uruguay¿s political history.

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