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EIU Latin American Studies

Libros sobre Latinoamerica

BookBlue Coat or Powdered Wig  
     Free People of Color in Pre-Revolutionalry Saint Domingue  
     por Stewart R. King  
Stewart R. King is an associate professor of history at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, Oregon.  

By the late 1700s, half the free population of Saint Domingue was black. The French Caribbean colony offered a high degree of social, economic, and physical mobility to free people of color. Covering the period 1776-1791, this study offers the most comprehensive portrait to date of Saint Domingue's free black elites on the eve of its transformation into the republic of Haiti.   
Stewart R. King identifies two distinctive groups that shared the colony's free black upper stratum, one consisting of planters and merchants and the other of members of the army and police forces. With the aid of individual and family case studies, King documents how the two groups used different strategies to pursue the common goal of economic and social advancement. Among other aspects, King looks at the rural or urban bases of these groups' networks, their relationships with whites and free blacks of lesser means, and their attitudes toward the acquisition, use, and sale of land, slaves, and other property.   

King's main source is the notarial archives of Saint Domingue, whose holdings offer an especially rich glimpse of free black elite life. Because elites were keenly aware of how a bureaucratic paper trail could help cement their status, the archives divulge a wealth of details on personal and public matters.   

Blue Coat or Powdered Wig is a vivid portrayal of race relations far from the European centers of colonial power, where the interactions of free blacks and whites were governed as much by practicalities and shared concerns as by the law.


BookThe Road to Azltan   
     Art from a Mythic  
BookThe Lost Chronicles from  
the Maya Kings  
     por David Drew


     Latin America's Struggle for Independence  
     por Robert Harvey 

In this "informative and inspiring volume" (Chicago Tribune), Robert Harvey reconstructs in vivid detail the gripping story of Latin America's independence and those who made it possible. Treated with contempt by their Spanish overlords, given to dissipation and grandiose proclamations, these fearless men nonetheless achieved military feats unsurpassed elsewhere in history. The aristocratic Simón Bolívar led his guerilla armies through swamp, jungle, and Andean ice to surprise his enemies and liberate most of northern South America. The inarticulate San Martín joined Bernardo O'Higgins, illegitimate son of a Spanish viceroy, to do the same in the south. These and five others waged the war for freedom against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, the American Revolution, the collapse of the Spanish Empire, and the revolutionary ferment of the nineteenth century. Despite the success of their revolutions, all seven liberators died in poverty, disgrace, or oblivion.  

This fascinating and dramatic story takes in a vast range of martial experience, from butchery in the torrid Orinoco basin to a cavalry fought with lances 13,000 feet up in the mountains of Peru. It is one of the greatest and least-known epics of history, told here in unprecedented detail.  

"A splendid old-fashioned read for those who like their history rich and romantic." (Foreign Affairs)   

"Liberators is a lively, engaging introduction to a great turning point in the history of our hemispheric mates." (Houston Chronicle)


BookHavana Dreams   
     A Story of Cuban Family  
     por Wendy Gimbel  
A fascinating, powerfully evocative story of four generations of Cuban women, through whose lives the author illuminates a vivid picture--both personal and historical--of Cuba in our century. 

"When I want to read a culture," writes Wendy Gimbel in her prologue, "I listen to stories about families, sensing in their contours the substance of larger mysteries." And certainly in the Revuelta family she has found a source of both mystery and revelation.  

At its center is Naty: born in 1925, educated in the United States, a socialite during the Batista era, who after marriage to a prominent doctor and the birth of a daughter became intoxicated with Castro and his revolution (here, published for the first time, are the letters they exchanged while he was in jail). Though her husband and daughter immigrated to the United States after Castro's victory, Naty remained in Cuba to raise her second child, Castro's unacknowledged daughter, only to be ultimately confronted by his dismissive, withering judgment: "Naty missed the train." Her two daughters, one of whom settles well into life in America, while the other never recovers from her father's intransigent repudiation of her; her granddaughter, who Naty desperately believes will return to Cuba when--not if--Castro is removed from the island; and her mother, an unregenerate reactionary: these are the lives that complete this extraordinary story. 

Each of the women is irrevocably marked with a part of the island's terrible and poignant tale, and Wendy Gimbel has created a rich and intense narrative of their lives and times. Havana Dreams leaves us with an indelible impression of familial obligation and illicit love; of the heady but doomed romanticism of revolution; and of the profound consequences of Cuba's contemporary history for the ordinary and most intimate lives of its people. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

BookAfro-Cuban Voices   
  On Race and Identity in  
  Contemporary Cuba   
  edited by Pedro Perez   
  Sarduy and Jean Stubbs

Mexico's Indigenous PastBook  
  por Alfredo Lopez  
  Austin and Leonardo  
  Lopez Lujan  
Leonardo Lopez Lujan, Senior Researcher and Professor of Archaeology at Museo del Templo Mayor, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, is the author of several books on archaeology of Central Mexico, including The Offerings of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan.  

This illustrated book offers a panoramic view of ancient Mexico, beginning more than thirty thousand years ago and ending with European occupation in the sixteenth century. Drawing on archaeological and ethnohistorical sources, the book is one of the first to offer a unified vision of Mexico's precolonial past. 

BookPancho Villa's Revolution by Headlines  
     por Mark Cronlund  
Mark Cronlund Anderson is Assistant Professor of History at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario.  

In this colorful history of Pancho Villa, Mark Cronlund Anderson examines the legendary guerrilla's efforts to promote friendly foreign policy with the United States in hopes of gaining American support for the Mexican Revolution. Exploring Villa's use of race and identity within a powerful public relations campaign, Anderson also examines the politics of Villa's duels with archrivals Victoriano Huerta and Venustiano Carranza. 

BookHavana Dreams  
     A Story of Cuba  
     por Wendy Gimbel


BookOur Word is Our Weapon   
     Selected Writings  
     Subcomandante Insurgente  
In 1994, as a guerrilla group of indigenous people calling themselves "Zapatistas" rose up in armed rebellion in the poor Mexican state of Chiapas, the writings of their enigmatic spokesman, Marcos, began being published in various Mexican journals and newspapers. They have since been disseminated around the world via the Internet and by Cinco Puntos press in the U.S. This collection of Marcos's work clearly shows--no matter one's stance on his politics--why he has become an international phenomenon: he is a writer of rare ability. As a political analyst and propagandist, Marcos offers trenchant analyses of the plight of the native people of Mexico, their neglect by a corrupt national government and the exacerbation of their poverty and marginality, according to him, as "neoliberalism"--i.e., international finance--permeated that nation. But he moves easily to romantic realist musings on his life in the remote mountains of Chiapas and the path that led him to the role of rebel. Finally he becomes a fabulist, writing his own brief tales--at times achingly poetic, at other times laugh-out-loud funny--and retelling the ancient myths and legends from Mexico's Mayan past. Though the pieces here are, in the end, difficult to categorize, what connects them is Marcos's commitment to making the indigenous people visible, revealing the poverty of their lives and the richness of their traditions. He writes, "Being silent, our voice was passing away." Marcos has broken that silence in language as strong as dignity and as subtle as love. To read this collection is to discover that rare animal: an original voice.   
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


BookThe Brazilian People  
     The Formation and  
     Meaning of Brazil  
     por Darcy Ribeiro  
Ribeiro (1922-97) was a Brazilian politician, intellectual, and prolific writer, and his most famous book, which was first published in 1995 in Brazil (where it was a best-seller), is now presented in its first English translation. The author's canvas is broad; he attempts nothing less than "a theory of Brazil." He is not for the casual reader, for this is not the place to turn for a standard political history of Brazil. But the well-read aficionado of Latin American history will find much to learn about and ponder over in this cultural and ethnological account, with its special focus placed on the peculiar nature of the Brazilian people, who have "arisen out of a melding, a collision, and a melting pot of the Portuguese invader with plains- and forest-dwelling Indians and with African blacks." The author contends that in such a multiethnic society as Brazil's, one would expect social antagonisms not only to erupt but also to prohibit a weaving together into one national fabric; this has not happened. Brad Hooper  
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved   

     An Intimate Geography  
     por David Yetman

BookDarkness in El Dorado   
     How Scientists and  
     Journalists Devasted the  
     por Patrick Tierney  
The explosive and highly controversial National Book Award finalist that has forever changed the discipline of anthropology. Thought to be the last "virgin" people, the Yanomami were considered the most savage and warlike tribe on earth, as well as one of the most remote, secreted in the jungles and highlands of the Venezuelan and Brazilian rainforest. Preeminent anthropologists like Napoleon Chagnon and Jacques Lizot founded their careers in the 1960s by "discovering" the Yanomami's ferocious warfare and sexual competition. Their research is now examined in painstaking detail by Patrick Tierney, whose book has prompted the American Anthropological Association to launch a major investigation into the charges, and has ignited the academic world like no other book in recent years. The most important book on anthropology in decades, Darkness in El Dorado will be a work to be reckoned with by a new generation of students the world over. A National Book Award finalist; a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year. 16 pages of b/w photographs.


BookDaliy Life in Mexico   
     The Journey of Friar Ilarione de Bergamo 1761-1768  
     translated by William J. Orr  
William J. Orr is a Foreign Service officer in the U.S. Department of State, currently assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Robert Ryal Miller is Professor Emeritus of History, California State University, Hayward, and is author of Mexico: A History, Juan Alvarado, Governor of California, and Shamrock and Sword, all published by the University of Oklahoma Press. Orr and Miller are co-editors of An Immigrant Soldier in the Mexican War. 

After returning to his Italian monastery in 1770, a Capuchin friar named Ilarione da Bergamo wrote an account of his transatlantic crossing and five-year residence in colonial Mexico.   
Sent to Mexico to collect alms for missionary work, Friar Ilarione lived four years in the silver mining camp of Real del Monte, fifty miles north of the vice regal capital. Ilarione relates how he secured silver donations from the miners, describes mining and refining techniques, and writes of a bitter and widespread labor strike.   

Ilarione also spent a number of months in Mexico City. He reveals the squalor, crime, and other perils of life in the capital, and describes details of daily life, including the public baths, medical practices, cockfights, bullfights, birds, native plants, popular food, and religious rituals.  

In this recently discovered manuscript, published here for the first time in English, editors Robert Ryal Miller and William J. Orr identify obscure references, translate Nahuatl words, amplify details, and verify historical events. Daily Life in Colonial Mexico is a welcome addition to the firsthand literature of New Spain. 


BookUnknown Island  
   Seri Indians, Europeans,  
   and San Esteban Islands  
   in the Gulf of California  
   por Thomas Bowen  
Thomas Bowen is professor emeritus of anthropology at California State University, Fresno, and is now research associate at the University of Arizona Southwest Center. He lives in Lander, Wyoming. 

This ethnohistory asks how and why a reclusive band of Seri Indians inhabiting San Esteban Island remained unknown to Europeans, Americans, and Mexicans plying the Gulf of California for nearly four centuries. To solve the puzzle, Thomas Bowen explores the history of the Midriff Islands and Gulf of California, the Seri Indians, and Euro-American explorers, settlers, merchants, and scientists of the region. Placing the Gulf of California in regional and international context, he considers what kinds of people were drawn to the gulf, why they went there, and why so few Euro-Americans visited San Esteban. His own archaeological investigations try to determine whether San Esteban was inhabited permanently by a distinct Seri population or was visited intermittently by Seris from neighboring islands. Bowen richly illustrates his narrative with historical and contemporary photographs and detailed maps of the Gulf of California and San Esteban Island. 

BookUrban Images of the Hispanic World 1493-1793   
     por Richard L. Kagan  
Focusing on cities and towns in South America the book investigates the different ways in which artists, map-makers , surveyors and military engineers represented a city in all its complexity. The author maintains that cities are both built structures and human communities and as a result their representations are rarely straightforward. Indeed one needs to regard these images in light of their particular purpose: administrative views contained topological accuracy; portrait views emphasized the relationship between a certain individual to the city in which she lived; other views drew attention to the human qualities believed to render an individual community unique. Kagan examines the interaction of European and native cartographic traditions as depicted in images of New and Old World cities and towns. 
BookThe Great Maya Droughts  
    Water, Life, and Death  
    por Richardson B.Gill  
Richardson B. Gill is a businessman, and archaeologist who lives in San Antonio, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Between A.D. 800 and 1000, during what is known as the Classic Maya Collapse, unrelenting drought caused the deaths of millions of Maya people and initiated a cascade of internal collapses that destroyed their civilization. Linking global, regional, and local climate change, the author explores how atmospheric processes, volcanism, ocean currents, and other natural forces combined to create a climate that pried apart the highly complex civilization of the tropical Maya Lowlands in the ninth and tenth centuries. Drawing on knowledge of other prehistoric and historic droughts, The Great Maya Droughts is a compelling study of the relationship of humans to their natural and physical environment. The author develops a new, scientific explanation of why the Classic Maya failed to adjust their behavior and culture to the climatic conditions, and why civilizations in general sometimes collapse in the face of radical environmental change.    
“The Great Maya Droughts is certain to set off a major debate among Maya scholars, but it’s also likely to be seen as a benchmark for applying “hard” science principles to what has been seen as a “soft science.”—Dan R. Goddard, San Antonio Express-News   

“The book is a major contribution in its own right in its use of massive amounts of climatic data. It is also an answer to what is perhaps the most interesting problem in Maya archaeology: the fall and lack of recovery of a great culture.”—R. E. W. Adams   

“I have little doubt that the work will become a classic in the literature of culture history and climatic studies as well.” George Stuart, Archaeologist, Retired, National Geographic Society 


BookBorn in Blood and Fire   
     A Concise History of Latin America  
     por John Charles Chasteen  
A concise, integrated, chronological narrative--includes all the high points of Latin American history while exploring its complexities. This amazingly brief history of Latin America will delight any reader. Fully informed by the latest scholarship, this cleverly written survey spans six centuries and covers twenty countries. John Charles Chasteen presents a compelling narrative of the Latin American experience, animated by stories about men and women from all walks of life, and enriched by insightful analysis. The famous and not so famous characters of Latin America are here: Cortes, Malinche, Moctezuma, Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz, Bolivar, Father Manuel Hidalgo, Juan and Evita Peron, and, of course, Che Guevara. This is a story of despair and hope, the processes of conquest and colonization, race mixing and class construction, revolution and republic formation, and the elusive quests for sustained economic growth and political and social equality. This beautifully written, concise history will be especially valuable for business and recreational travelers on their way to Latin America.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition
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