Americanos : Latin America's Struggle for Independence: Latin America's Struggle for Independence

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Oxford University Press, Jan 28, 2008 - 240 pages
8 Reviews
In 1808, world history took a decisive turn when Napoleon occupied Spain and Portugal, a European event that had lasting repercussions more than half the world away, sparking a series of revolutions throughout the Spanish and Portuguese empires of the New World. These wars for independence resulted eventually in the creation of nineteen independent Latin American republics. Here is an engagingly written, compact history of the Latin American wars of independence. Proceeding almost cinematically, scene by vivid scene, John Charles Chasteen introduces the reader to lead players, basic concepts, key events, and dominant trends, braided together in a single, taut narrative. He vividly depicts the individuals and events of those tumultuous years. Here are the famous leaders--Simon Bolivar, Jose de San Martin, and Bernardo O'Higgins, Father Hidalgo and Father Morelos, and many others. Here too are lesser known Americanos: patriot women such as Manuela Saenz, Leona Vicario, Mariquita Sanchez, Juana Azurduy, and Policarpa Salavarrieta, indigenous rebels such as Mateo Pumacahua, and African-descended generals such as Vicente Guerrero and Manuel Piar. Chasteen captures the gathering forces for independence, the clashes of troops and decisions of leaders, and the rich, elaborate tapestry of Latin American societies as they embraced nationhood. By the end of the period, the leaders of Latin American independence would embrace classical liberal principles--particularly popular sovereignty and self-determination--and permanently expanding the global reach of Western political values. Today, most of the world's oldest functioning republics are Latin American. And yet, Chasteen observes, many suffer from a troubled political legacy that dates back to their birth. In this book, he illuminates this legacy, even as he illustrates how the region's dramatic struggle for independence points unmistakably forward in world history.
  

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Review: Americanos: Latin America's Struggle for Independence (Pivotal Moments in World History)

User Review  - Patrick - Goodreads

I got through this book well enough and learned about about Latin American history, but it was a chore. Despite the short length of the book, it took me about a month to get through. For me, the flaw ... Read full review

Review: Americanos: Latin America's Struggle for Independence (Pivotal Moments in World History)

User Review  - Anna Howard - Goodreads

Americanos was a really really frustrating (though interesting) read. Dry at times, compelling at others, the book swung from one branch to another on the tree of the reader's opinions. It zoomed from ... Read full review

Contents

Why Americanos?
1
1 Discovering América 17991805
6
Maps
7
2 Pillars of the Crown 18061810
35
3 NotSoCivil Wars 18101812
66
4 A Lost Cause? 18121815
95
5 Independence Won 18161824
123
6 Nation Building Begins 18251840
159
The Legacy Endures
182
Notes
189
Glossary
193
Sources and Readings
195
Index
209
Copyright

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About the author (2008)


John Charles Chasteen is Patterson Distinguished Term Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both a writer and a translator, his books include Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America.

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