In 1930s rural Argentina, a determined fifteen-year-old left an isolated, poverty-stricken life to find her fortune in the “Paris of South America”—Buenos Aires. There, with few connections, little education, but plenty of persistence, Maria Eva Duarte gained a toehold in the city’s artistic scene. Eva—Evita—then navigated the radio revolution to fortune, providing for her mother and siblings along the way. She caught the eye of rising political star Colonel Juan Perón, and with him, she rode the pro-labor wave all the way to the presidential palace. The story of Eva Duarte Perón highlights not just her own extraordinary life, but the opportunities seized by women of all classes and backgrounds in post-independence modernizing Latin America.
This work offers an alternate method for understanding modern Latin America and its history. The ten figures treated are ethnically mixed, of African, Indigenous, European, and mestiza heritage. They include figures from all social classes, geographic settings, and occupations seen in Latin America, and they acted over the entirety of the more than two centuries of the modern period. Through their stories, the reader comes away with a deeper understanding of this rich, diverse region.
James D. Henderson is distinguished professor emeritus of international studies at Coastal Carolina University. Prior to his scholarly career, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Columbia. His books include Modernization in Colombia: The Laureano Gómez Years, 1886-1965.
Linda R. Henderson is professor emerita at Coastal Carolina University. She has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia.
Suzanne M. Litrel is a historian of Brazil and the Portuguese Atlantic world. She has taught at Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, and Bay Shore High School in New York. For more information, see suzannelitrel.com.
Ch 1 Leopoldina, 1797-1826
Ch 2 Mariana Grajales, 1808-1893
Ch 3 Eliza Lynch, 1833-1886
Ch 4 Clorinda Matto de Turner, 1852-1909
Ch 5 Gabriela Mistral, 1889-1957
Ch 6 Frida Kahlo, 1907-1954
Ch 7 Eva Perón, 1919-1952
Ch 8 Celia Cruz 1925-2003
Ch 9 Rigoberta Menchú Tum, 1959-
Ch 10 Dilma Rousseff, 1947-
Updated and thoroughly revised, this new edition promises to be an excellent teaching tool due to its breadth of coverage of all Latin America, its informed description of women’s roles in each era, and its accessible narrative. I assigned a previous edition in my survey courses for years, and inevitably students cited it as their favorite book. In a field remarkably bereft of readable textbooks, this book is a rare gem—a volume guaranteed to engage the attention and enthusiasm of undergraduates.
Spanning two centuries—and in an engaging and readable text—Ten Notable Women in Modern Latin America provides a diversity of women’s experiences from all walks of life. These characteristics make this book an ideal text for an introduction to Latin American history.