Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul

Article excerpt

CURRENT EVENTS Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul, by Michael Reid. Yale, January 2008. $30

Reid, who has covered Latin America for twenty-five years for the BBC, the Guardian, and now the Economist, has written an overview of a part of the world that he believes has been neglected because it is neither as prone to catastrophe as Africa nor as successful (see China and India) as Asia. He knows his territory well. With a detailed grasp of the region's colonial background, its literature, and its turbulent past, he holds a mirror to the face of a continent whose prospects seem more promising now than at any time in the last quarter-century. At the same time, with assertive new leaders like Hugo Chavez, there have been more government-level challenges to the power and influence of the US. Reid is surefooted in his approach to various attempts to explain Latin America's relative lack of political and economic success. …

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