A Companion to Latin American History

A Companion to Latin American History

A Companion to Latin American History

A Companion to Latin American History

Synopsis

The Companion to Latin American History collects the work of leading experts in the field to create a single-source overview of the diverse history and current trends in the study of Latin America.
  • Presents a state-of-the-art overview of the history of Latin America
  • Written by the top international experts in the field
  • 28 chapters come together as a superlative single source of information for scholars and students
  • Recognizes the breadth and diversity of Latin American history by providing systematic chronological and geographical coverage
  • Covers both historical trends and new areas of interest

Excerpt

This is a compendium of descriptive and interpretive material on the history of Latin America, organized around coherent themes and periods commonly of interest to Latin Americanist scholars and their students, as well as the interested public. The essays are supported by the latest research, assessed and synthesized by trained and experienced specialists, and presented in a sequence organized thematically and chronologically. The standard meta-narrative for the region as a whole is represented here, with considerable illustrative material and case studies ranging widely in time, space, and theme; they are accompanied by more than 1400 bibliographical references and suggestions for further reading, grouped at the end of each thematic essay.

The chronologically organized units in that overarching timeline include the indigenous and Iberian backgrounds, conquest and colonization, the process of independence, the establishment of new nations in the nineteenth century, the varied processes by which the region modernized and developed through the twentieth century. It is also common in surveys of Latin American history to focus specifically on several case studies of major transformation, such as the Revolutions in Mexico and Cuba; to consider the emergence of the United States as a dominant presence in the economic and political affairs of the region; and to focus on other issues better treated thematically than as divisions along the lines of geography and chronology that still dominate historical scholarship and pedagogy.

In keeping with the comparative approach common to historical surveys of such a diverse region of the world, there is no effort here to provide the national narrative of each colonial region or independent nation. Inevitably, the specific experience of some countries looms larger than others. Devoting separate essays to Brazil in the colonial era and again in the nineteenth century is justified on the intellectual grounds that Brazil’s colonial trajectory as well as its functioning constitutional monarchy from independence in 1822 to 1889 merits separate consideration from Spanish America. It is also meant to provide readers whose entry into Latin American history is mainly via the Spanish-language regions with material that deals with the distinctive Brazilian experience on its own terms.

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