Simón Bolívar's Quest for Glory

By Richard W. Slatta; Jane Lucas De Grummond | Go to book overview

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A GUIDE TO FURTHER READING

Bolívar lived a fascinating, controversial, intensely studied life. We have used a wide mix of sources in writing this biography. Primary sources, written by persons participating in the struggles for independence, bring immediacy, detail, and passion to the narrative. Equally important are secondary sources, penned later by Latin American, European, and North American historians. Archival manuscripts and printed documents and other sources abound (see sources consulted).

Most important of the primary sources are the various letters, speeches, and pronouncements of Bolívar, Santander, Páez, and others. The edited and written works produced by Venezuelan historian Vicente Lecuna are by far the most significant. We quoted many letters from the Selected Writings of Bolívar, compiled by Lecuna and translated by Lewis Bertrand. Also important are memoirs written by many of the other principals, including Páez, Urdaneta, Miller, Paz, and O’Leary. Edited documentary collections by Larrazábal, Cortázar, Grases, and Davila added important firsthand information. Spanish and English-language newspapers of the early nineteenth century provided vital facts on ship movements and reports of battles. C. P. Jones (The Americas, January, 1984) has summarized impressions of Bolívar taken from ten nineteenth-century British periodicals. See sources consulted for full citations of both primary and secondary sources.

Secondary sources, many unabashedly idolizing the Liberator, abound. For a sampling of pro-Liberator opinion, see the “testimonios” in Jorge Campos, Bolívar (1984). For the views of his detractors, see José Sant Roz, Nos Duele Bolívar (1988). Lecuna’s Crónica razonada de las guerras de Bolívar in three volumes is probably our most utilized secondary source. Among English-language books, we commend the following to readers who wish to pursue specific details of Bolívar’s life and exploits. Insurrection or Loyalty by Dominguez and Lynch’s Spanish-American Revolutions analyze the causes of independence. Belaúnde’s Bolívar and the Political Thought of the Spanish American Revolution offers insights into the competing ideologies of the independence era.

Robert Gilmore’s Caudillism and Militarism surveys the political conflicts and complications in Venezuela during the nineteenth century. David Bushnell offers the standard description of Santander’s career. John J. Johnson’s A Hemisphere Apart analyzes the failure of the young United States to support the Latin American Patriots. William Spence Robertson’s Life of Miranda remains the classic study of the tragic precursor to independence. Antonio Cussen examines the poetry and career of Andrés Bello, who accompanied Bolívar on his mission to London in 1810.

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