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Modern Latin America

Ninth Edition

Peter H. Smith, James N. Green, and Thomas E. Skidmore

Publication Date - 26 October 2018

ISBN: 9780190674656

544 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A lively, interpretive text that uses case studies to discuss the major countries and themes of the region over the past 200 years


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.

New to this Edition

  • Revised coverage of the colonial era
  • Updated and revised individual country studies
  • A uniform format for country studies that encourages and facilitates comparative analysis
  • A strengthened discussion of the Internet and social media in the treatment of culture and society
  • Expanded coverage of Latin America's changing place in the world arena and relations with the United States, with particular attention to the role of U.S. President Donald J. Trump
  • A substantially revised full-color "photo album" of people and scenes from all over Latin America
  • New maps and illustrations throughout

About the Author(s)

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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