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The Penguin History Of Latin America: New Edition [Paperback]

Edwin Williamson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
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Book Description

3 Dec 2009

Now fully updated to 2009, this acclaimed history of Latin America tells its turbulent story from Columbus to Chavez. Beginning with the Spanish and Portugese conquests of the New World, it takes in centuries of upheaval, revolution and modernization up to the present day, looking in detail at Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Cuba, and gives an overview of the cultural developments that have made Latin America a source of fascination for the world.

'A first-rate work of history ... His cool, scholarly gaze and synthesizing intelligence demystify a part of the world peculiarly prone to myth-making ... This book covers an enormous amount of ground, geographically and culturally' Tony Gould, Independent on Sunday


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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (3 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141034750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141034751
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.1 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Edwin Williamson holds the King Alfonso XIII Chair of Spanish at the University of Oxford. He has since 2003 been a Professorial Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He had previously held the Forbes Chair of Hispanic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has held academic posts at Trinity College, Dublin and Birkbeck College, University of London and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University and the University of Sao Paulo. His most recent book is Borges: A Life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a first rate general introduction to Latin American history. It covers all the major movements and events in a sensible and balanced fashion and is written in a pleasantly accessible style. I particularly enjoyed the sections on literary and cultural developments. The text is supported by well-chosen charts and a useful selection of black-and-white maps which bring out clearly some of the points the author makes. Doubtless recognising that no work of this length can go into particular aspects of Latin American in any kind of detail the author has taken some pains over his bibliography, giving several good suggestions for further reading. I wish all regional histories were of this quality!
The only slight drawback with the book is its age. Quite a lot has happened in Latin America since 1993, when the book was first published. I hope Edwin Williamson finds time to publish an updated version; I should certainly be one of the first people to buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Latin American history: a compulsive read 9 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a Comprehensive, well-written, well-researched book that provides an excellent account of the history of Latin America from Columbus onwards. Pre-columbian issues are covered where this helps to explain later interactions between colonists and the indigenous populations. The book is well-set out with the broad historical period broken down into relevant and manageable chapters. A particular strength of the book is the explanatory interweaving of developments in European politics and economics with the evolutionary course of Latin American history. Revelatory insights are offered on well-trodden topics such as interactions between colonists and "Indians", the role of the Catholic Church, and slavery. This, in my view, is an outstanding book and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who seeks insights into an area of historical discussion often neglected in mainstream works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you want the latest (2009) edition you need to buy the book not the Kindle download. Other than that I'm finding the book a very good introduction to the whole subject which I know very little about.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Euro-centric but decent intro 5 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
Haven't read all of this yet but from dips into a few sections I get the impression that the author is the kind of historian who tries to identify and analyse trends over time as opposed to just recording disparate events. Some people prefer this form of history but it can lead to a bit of revisionism and thus the artificial formation of non-existent trends along with tenuous links and causations. Nonetheless quite readable and enjoyable with some interesting theories. The one thing that struck me as with many histories of non-European regions is the focus on European colonial history and its effects to the almost complete ignorance of indigenous culture and their story. Indigenous peoples are discussed but mostly in reference to their interaction with Europeans.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Lofty View 3 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Too much left unexplained in this. Very much outward looking in perspective and doesn't get into the subject, more an elevated view. Unlike penguins history of the USA, this feels like a really distant perspective with practically no human element. Pretty disappointed with this and will seek elsewhere to get a better understanding of what seems like a fascinating subject. Really not very engaging either.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of the region's history 11 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Delighted with this purchase. Highly readable, well-informed, detailed without being overwhelming, an overview without being superficial. A balanced and nuanced account of the culture, history and politics of the region. Very fair-minded, especially for an "Anglo-Saxon" historian.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Uni's best friend 1 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Any student doing any sort of Latin America Course this is a must buy - it will become your best friend and bible
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, neutral, detailed 29 April 2013
By RCUK
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's hard to find a completely neutral yet accurate history of Latin America. This is both of those things, yet still very readable. If you want a concise history of this fascinating continent, I couldn't recommend this book more.
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