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Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government Americas South America Venezuela Gregory Wilpert Verso 1 edition


11th July 2013 History Books 0 Comments

This fascinating studydeeply informed, penetrating in its analysis, comprehensive in scopeexplores the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Venezuelan initiatives of recent years, the conflicts they have engendered, the achievements and pitfalls, the animating ideals of a genuinely participatory society, and the prospects for realizing them in ways that, if successful, might have significant impact not only for Latin America but well beyond. (Noam Chomsky )

Greg Wilpert knows Venezuela intimately and gives us the most thorough and objective analysis of the Chavez government’s policies we are likely to find. A thoughtful and useful book for the 21st century and, let us hope, beyond. (Susan George )

Gregory Wilpert’s book combines academic insight with perspectives gained from living in Venezuela through the tumultuous years of the Chavez administration. His book offers the best general introduction to the complex politics of a country and a leader making a profound impact on global politics at the dawn of this new century. (Daniel Hellinger )

Gregory Wilpert is a sociologist, freelance journalist, and a former US Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela.

This acclaimed history of Chvez’s Venezuela argues that it could be a model for peaceful revolution.

Since coming to power in 1998, the Chavez government has inspired both fierce internal debate and horror amongst Western governments accustomed to counting on an obeisant regime in the oil-rich state. In this rich and resourceful study, Greg Wilpert exposes the self-serving logic behind much middle-class opposition to Venezuela’s elected leader, and explains the real reason for their alarm. He argues that the Chavez government has instituted one of the world’s most progressive constitutions, but warns that they have yet to overcome the dangerous specters of the country’s past.

This fascinating studydeeply informed, penetrating in its analysis, comprehensive in scopeexplores the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Venezuelan initiatives of recent years, the conflicts they have engendered, the achievements and pitfalls, the animating ideals of a genuinely participatory society, and the prospects for realizing them in ways that, if successful, might have significant impact not only for Latin America but well beyond.

Greg Wilpert knows Venezuela intimately and gives us the most thorough and objective analysis of the Chavez government’s policies we are likely to find. A thoughtful and useful book for the 21st century and, let us hope, beyond.

Gregory Wilpert’s book combines academic insight with perspectives gained from living in Venezuela through the tumultuous years of the Chavez administration. His book offers the best general introduction to the complex politics of a country and a leader making a profound impact on global politics at the dawn of this new century.

Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government

Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala

Written in the vein of a Robert Kaplan travel journal, this profound book traces the history of Guatemala’s 36-year internal struggle through personal interviews that recount the heart-wrenching stories of plantation owners, army officials, guerrillas and the wretchedly poor peasants stuck in the middle. Wilkinson’s narrative unfolds gradually, beginning with his quest to unlock the mysteries of the short-lived 1952 Law of Agrarian Reform, which saw the redistribution of land to the working class. He goes on to explain many of the causes and consequences of the country’s political and social problems. At one point, Wilkinson vividly describes how the entire town of Sacuchum uncharacteristically gathered to recount for him and thus record for the outside world how the army raped, tortured and massacred members of the community because they were believed to have supported the guerrillas. Much of what’s revealed in Wilkinson’s account of the country’s trials is hard to stomach, especially his description of CIA involvement in Guatemala. In many instances, Wilkinson’s personal story gets in the way of the larger account he is trying to tell, and the book becomes more about him (he was just out of college in 1993, when he made the trip) than about events in Guatemala. However, this book is both easy to read and compelling, and Wilkinson’s little self-indulgences are easily forgivable given the powerful subject matter and how well it is told by Wilkinson, now a lawyer with Human Rights Watch. B&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

new in paperback
Silence on the Mountain is a virtuoso work of reporting and a masterfully plotted narrative tracing the history of Guatemala’s thirty-six-year internal war, a conflict that claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, the vast majority of whom died at the hands of the U.S.-backed military government. Written by Daniel Wilkinson, a young human rights worker, the story begins in 1993, when the author decides to investigate the arson of a coffee plantation’s manor house by a band of guerrillas. The questions surrounding this incident soon broaden into a complex mystery whose solution requires Wilkinson to dig up the largely unwritten history of the country’s recent civil war, following its roots back to a land reform movement that was derailed by a U.S.-sponsored military coup in 1954 and to the origins of a plantation system that put Guatemala’s Mayan Indians to work picking coffee beans for the American and European markets.

Decades of terror-inspired fear have led the Guatemalans to adopt a survival strategy of silence so complete it verges on collective amnesia. The author’s great triumph is that he finds a way for people to tell their stories, and it is through these stories—dramatic, intimate, heartbreaking—that we are shown the anatomy of a thwarted revolution that has relevance not only to Guatemala but also to countless places around the world where terror has been used as a political tool.

Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala (American Encounters/Global Interactions)










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