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Latin America since Independence

Two Centuries of Continuity and Change

Thomas C. Wright

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This innovative text offers a clear and concise introduction to Latin America since independence. Thomas C. Wright traces continuity and change in five central colonial legacies: authoritarian governance; a rigid social hierarchy based on race, color, and gender; the powerful Roman Catholic Church; economic dependency; and the large landed estate. He shows that the outcomes of debate and contestation over these colonial legacies have been crucial in shaping contemporary political systems, economies, societies, and religious institutions in a richly diverse region. These unifying themes guide the reader through each period. The text’s user-friendly illustrations, maps, chapter summaries, and suggestions for further reading enrich student understanding of a major part of the world. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 392Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-3570-0 • Hardback • February 2017 • $120.00 • (£80.00)
978-1-4422-3571-7 • Paperback • February 2017 • $49.95 • (£32.95)
978-1-4422-3572-4 • eBook • February 2017 • $46.95 • (£31.95)
Thomas C. Wright is distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Acknowledgments
Acronyms
Map of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
Map of South America
Introduction
Part I: Colonial Roots
Chapter 1: Origins of the Colonial Legacies
Part II: Independence and its Challenges, 1790s–1870s
Chapter 2: The Independence of Latin America
Chapter 3: The Age of
Caudillos
Reflections on the Colonial Legacies, 1790s–1870s
Part III: Exports, Oligarchies, and Yankees, 1870s–1930
Chapter 4: The Export Economies
Chapter 5: Political Consolidation and Social Change
Chapter 6: Rise of the Yankee
Reflections on the Colonial Legacies, 1870s–1930
Part IV: Revolution, Depression, and Cold War, 1930–1959
Chapter 7: The Mexican Revolution
Chapter 8: Depression, Political Change, and Cold War
Reflections on the Colonial Legacies, 1930–1959
Part V: The Era of the Cuban Revolution, 1959–1990
Chapter 9: The Cuban Revolution
Chapter 10: The Cuban Revolution, Latin America, and the United States
Chapter 11: The Reaction: Repression and State Terrorism
Reflections on the Colonial Legacies, 1959-1990
Part IV: Contemporary Latin America, 1990–Present
Chapter 12: Neoliberalism, Democracy, the Pink Tide, and Other Developments since 1990
Reflections on the Colonial Legacies, 1990–Present
Conclusion: Colonial Legacies and Today’s Latin America
Bibliography
Index
In this panoramic study of Latin America since independence, Thomas Wright critically examines processes of continuity and change in crucial colonial legacies through two hundred years of postcolonial history. The book is invaluable for understanding the historical weight of many cultural traits, attitudes, values, practices, and institutions that crystalized in colonial times and have continued to influence two centuries of independent life. In clear and incisive language, it threads together complex political, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural developments, clarifying macroregional processes while providing detailed analyses of all the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of the Americas. Textboxes, maps, images, and suggestions for further reading make it a persuasive learning tool. Highly recommended for any comprehensive course on Latin America.
Luis Roniger, Reynolds Professor of Latin American Studies, Wake Forest University


Thomas Wright has written an engaging, intelligent, and valuable history of modern Latin America that will benefit students and specialists alike. Latin American since Independence places the region in a global context but also captures its great diversity.
Charles Walker, University of California, Davis


This fresh introduction to Latin American history offers an enlightening and distinctly twenty-first-century perspective for students and general readers in our globalized world. Over two centuries, Wright shows, the international order has at every stage shaped five long-persisting features of the region’s colonial legacy and made its societies what they are today.
Alexander Wilde, American University


Thomas Wright has provided a sweeping survey of two hundred years of Latin American history spanning postcolonial times to the post–Cold War years. His book renders comprehensible the complexities of diverse histories without diminishing the importance of a common experience—and excels as an introductory text.
Louis A. Pérez Jr., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Organized thematically around colonial legacies, rather than as a series of national histories

Includes user-friendly illustrations, maps, chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive bibliography

Fact boxes provide current statistics for each country

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