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Venezuela: Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an 'Exceptional Democracy' (Latin American Perspectives in the Classroom) [Paperback]

Steve Ellner , Miguel Tinker Salas

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Book Description

7 Dec 2006 Latin American Perspectives in the Classroom
This authoritative book offers a comprehensive assessment of contemporary Venezuela. Analyzing the multifaceted phenomenon of Hugo Chávez, leading scholars move beyond his flamboyant style to focus on the concerns of popular social and political movements. The book challenges the misleading notions that for several decades glorified Venezuelan "exceptionalism" and minimized the role of important actors. After setting the historical and socio-economic contexts, the contributors explore racial issues, social and labor movements, electoral politics, economic and oil policy, and United States support for the Venezuelan opposition. Underscoring the complexity of Chávez and his popularity, the book highlights the need to avoid simplistic assessments of the past and present and offers a clear-eyed understanding of Venezuelan reality today.

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Review

The authors of this edited volume provide a generally positive portrayal of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the reforms he has introduced since he was first elected in 1998. Recommended. CHOICE The sociology and history in the book are ... illuminating. -- George Philip Journal of Latin American Studies Steve Ellner and Miguel Tinker Salas meet the need for a measured and accessible synthesis of the arguments around the decline of Venezuelan 'exceptional' democracy and the concomitant rise and presidency of Hugo Chavez... The contributions are all of high quality... Achieves its goal of introducing contemporary Venezuela to a student audience... The volume successfully stimulates discussion and covers relevant topics at an accessible level for today's universities, colleges, and schools, while it is also more widely valuable to the inquiring general public. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De America Latina Y El Caribe Steve Ellner and Miguel Tinker Salas meet the need for a measured and accessible synthesis of the arguments around the decline of Venezuelan 'exceptional' democracy and the concomitant rise and presidency of Hugo Chavez... The contributions are all of high quality... Achieves its goal of introducing contemporary Venezuela to a student audience... The volume successfully stimulates discussion and covers relevant topics at an accessible level for today's universities, colleges, and schools, while it is also more widely valuable to the inquiring general public. -- Michael Derham Hispanic American Historical Review With the rise and presidency of Hugo Chavez, Ellner finds himself uniquely positioned to commentate on and explain the drivers of contemporary change and political evolution in Venezuela, where he has lived for over 30 years. Unlike many of those currently writing on the country and its president, he brings an objective and informed perspective, one that transcends subjective accounts and the current polarization of assessments. More importantly, his writing and explanatory frameworks are accessible and engaging, making his latest book both an excellent introduction for those bewildered and new to the Chavez phenomenon and also an invaluable read for long-term observers of Venezuela and the South American region more broadly. Bulletin of Latin American Research An excellent overview of the collapse of Venezuelan democracy, the rise of Hugo Chavez, and what Venezuela looks like under Chavez. -- Judith Ewell, The College of William and Mary

About the Author

Steve Ellner is professor at the Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. Miguel Tinker Salas is Arango Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a studies at Pomona College.

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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly Work, but Not Impartial 29 Sep 2009
By Laurence Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book shows over and over again that Venezuela was not the "exceptional democracy" it claimed to be. Of course this claim has been verified by acension of Chavez, as he is most certainly less democratic than the presidents of the Punto Fijo pact.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great analysis 26 May 2009
By LA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is well researched and takes a look at what is happening on the ground in Venezuela. It also presents ample documentation on U.S. intervention. The book takes a look at diverse developments. The introduction by Ellner and Tinker Salas shows how an overly rosy view of Venezuelan democracy in the decades before Chavez came to power passed over the pressing social and political problems that explain Chavez's election and his political successes.
14 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hugo chavez and the decline of an exceotional democracy 7 May 2007
By Bobby G. Rawlings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a great book , will tell how slanted and deceitful the u.s.a. government is. when somebody like president hugo chavez tries and does something for his people, how it irritates the elite government of the u.s.a. it has helped with my understanding of the world situation.
7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a joke, wish I could rate below 1 star 12 Feb 2008
By D. Becvar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is totally worthless. Total propaganda. I wish there was a non-partisan book out there about Venezuela. I'm just glad I didn't buy it (borrowed from some sucker). Don't buy this book!
8 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you hate democracy, you'll love this book 1 Dec 2007
By David R. Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This volume is filled with nauseating pro-Chavez essays that cheer his "defiance of the neo-liberal agenda." Of course, by that they should mean "destruction of democracy." Anyone who is vaguely familiar with recent developments in Venezuela should realize that Chavez will make false promises to Venezuela's impoverished to achieve his goal of being president for life.
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