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Modern Latin America

Eighth Edition

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

Publication Date - November 2013

ISBN: 9780199929238

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

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $95.95

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


Now thoroughly updated in its eighth edition, Modern Latin America is a lively interpretive history and the leading text in the field. Featuring vivid, anecdotal illustrative boxes, the book uses case studies to discuss the major countries and themes of the region over the past 200 years. For each country, Thomas E. Skidmore, Peter H. Smith, and James N. Green examine such central themes as European-New World interaction, racial mixtures, military takeovers, and U.S. intervention in the area.

Visit the companion website at http://library.brown.edu/modernlatinamerica/.

New to this Edition

  • * Two new chapters (15 and 16) examining Latin America's changing place in the world arena
  • * Additional material on economic strategies and patterns of democratization
  • * A four-color "photo album" in the middle of the book and additional maps and illustrations throughout

About the Author(s)

Thomas E. Skidmore is Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. He is the author of Brazil, Second Edition (OUP, 2009), Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964 (OUP, 2007), and The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil (OUP, 1990).

Peter H. Smith is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Simón Bolívar Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Talons of the Eagle, Fourth Edition, (OUP, 2012) and Democracy in Latin America, Second Edition (OUP, 2011).

James N. Green is Professor of History and Brazilian Studies at Brown University. He is the author of We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States (2010) and Beyond Carnival (1999).

Previous Publication Date(s)

November 2009
October 2004
September 2000


"This is the industry standard for Latin American politics. The chapters on trends in the region help students make sense of a diverse set of countries with distinct experiences and different needs."--Michael Touchton, Boise State University

"Modern Latin America has long been the gold standard in the field. Now, with enhanced country coverage ranging from Bolivia to Venezuela, it is as valuable as ever, inside and outside of the classroom."--James Woodard, Montclair State University

"This edition contains incisive commentary, clear discussions of the theoretical frameworks employed, and in-depth analysis of countries (or subregions) that is unparalleled in other texts."--Elena Jackson Albarrán, Miami University

"A classic in Latin American history and politics. . . . comprehensive, informative, well written, and pitched at the right level for an undergraduate text or as background material for a graduate class. The overall structure of the book-general history, followed by case studies, followed by a return to broader comparisons-makes sense."--Chappell Lawson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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
    Achieving Independence
    The Brazilian Path
    The Aftermath of Independence
    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?

    4. Central America: Within the U.S. Orbit
    From Colonies to Nationhood
    Independence Movements
    Liberal Ascendancy and "Republican Dictatorships"
    Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
    Coffee and Bananas
    Social Developments
    Politics and Policy: Panama
    Politics and Policy: Nicaragua
    Politics and Policy: El Salvador
    Politics and Policy: Guatemala
    Politics and Policy: Costa Rica

    5. Cuba: Key Colony, Socialist State
    From Colony to Nationhood
    Dubious Independence
    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 (1990-present)

    6. The Andes: Soldiers and Oligarchs, Indians and Populists
    From Colony to Nationhood
    Overview: Economic Growth and Social Change
    Peru: From Guano to Minerals
    Bolivia: Tin, Silver, and Gas
    Ecuador: From Cacao to Petroleum
    Politics and Policy: Peru
    Flirting with Alternatives
    The Military Revolution
    Struggles of Civilian Governments
    Fujimori's Limited Democracy
    The Contemporary Scene (2000-Present)
    Politics and Policy: Bolivia
    The Chaco War (1932-35)
    The Revolution of 1952
    Military Rule and Popular Resistance
    The Contemporary Scene (2005-Present)
    Politics and Policy: Ecuador
    Caudillos, Conservatives, and Liberals
    Cacao, Prosperity, and Turmoil
    Bananas and Dictators
    The Contemporary Scene (1979-Present)

    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 (1990-present)
    Hard-Line Politics
    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
    Institutional Ossification
    The Contemporary Scene (1998-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
    The Contemporary Scene (1983-present)
    The Unperonist Peronist
    The Kirchner Era

    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 (1990-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
    The Contemporary Scene (1994-present)
    Brazil's First Working-Class President
    End of an Era?


    12. Strategies for Economic Development
    Narratives of Backwardness
    The Liberal Era (1880s-1920s)
    State Transformation under Liberalism
    Import-Substitution Industrialization (1930s-1970s)
    ISI in Theory
    ISI in Practice
    The Socialist Alternative (1950s-1980s)
    Revolutionary Movements
    Neoliberalism (1980s-present)
    Free Trade
    The Crash of '08
    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 of the New Left
    The Pulse of Democratic Change
    Dangers of Democracy
    Democracy Made Safe
    Democracy Turns Left

    14. Culture and Society
    From Colonies to Nations
    Romanticism, Indians, and Slaves
    Literature, Art, and New 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 America 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-1980s
    Imperialism in the Americas
    America's Aspirations
    The Rise of U.S. Influence
    Consolidating U.S. Power
    The Cold War
    The Logic of the Cold War
    Cold War in Latin America
    The Nationalist Impulse
    The Revolutionary Challenge
    The Alliance for Progress
    Development and Debt

    16. Latin America in the World Arena, 1990s-Present
    After the Cold War
    The Clinton Era
    Wars on Terror
    Obama's Wars
    George Bush and Latin America
    Obama and Latin America
    Confronting the United States
    Seeking Outside Allies
    The Intermestic Agenda
    Immigration under Obama
    Drug Trafficking
    Drug Policy under Obama
    Policy Debates
    Perspectives on the Future

    Guide to Website

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