By Mark Dinneen
Venezuela, one of the least-known countries in Latin America, is brilliantly spotlighted in Culture and Customs of Venezuela. This oil-rich nation sustained a stable democracy until the economic downturn in the 1980s, and changes in the social and political spheres will bring the country under increasing scrutiny from the outside world. Dinneen captures the sharp contrasts and immense variety of modern Venezuela. Students and interested readers will find engaging and authoritative overviews of the land, people, and history; religions; social customs; media; cinema; literature; performing arts; and art and architecture.
This work successfully portrays the country's cultural richness and diversity. Influences from the United States are inescapable, especially in Caracas, but many distinctive traditions are continued throughout the country, varying from region to region. Religious rituals and numerous festivals that take place in towns and villages and the vibrant music scene, all major expressions of the nation's social and cultural life, are just some of the highlights found herein. Numerous photos give witness to Venezuela's diverse culture and a chronology, and glossary supplement the text.