This book provides a comprehensive and very readable introduction to the history, culture and politics of Paraguay. Having paid a brief visit to Paraguay myself, this summer, I was interested to learn more about a country that receives little attention on the international stage and seems to have so many hidden secrets. The Reader did not disappoint, and I was amazed at the incredible scope and diversity within its pages. The many personal accounts of unimaginable suffering and endurance are particularly gripping, while there are also some lighter pieces that shine a light on the Paraguayan people and their rich culture. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in this fascinating country.
The Paraguay Reader consists of a considerable number of small contributions on the history, society, culture, and politics of Paraguay. It begins with traditional indigenous myths transcribed and translated from Guarani by the famous Anglo-Paraguayan anthropologist Leon Cadogan and ends with a glance at contemporary Paraguayan cuisine. Given that national and international experts as well as eyewitnesses contributed to this reader, it is not only insightful and informative, but also enjoyable and entertaining. Highly recommended to both scholars as well as lay persons interested in this fascinating country!
Truly excellent. For the first time in the UK this rich literary feast gives a true account of history, culture and politics. The author's insight and research its really a feast for all senses. We need more.....
Paraguay is incontestably the most fascinating and the least known country in the Western Hemisphere – I have visited most of the others - and I confess to having been fascinated by it for as long as I can remember. Having visited it for the first time twice during the mid 1970s, since returning, after a long absence in 2008, I continue to visit it two or three times a year with visit number 18 coming up shortly. THE PARAGUAY READER therefore inevitably attracted my attention. Having expected a slim volume of essays, I was agreeably surprised to receive instead a “weighty tome” which due to its daunting volume I resolved to dip into piece-meal. However, having started to read it, I found myself devouring it chronologically during three consecutive and very long nocturnal sessions. The sub-title of “History, Culture, Politics” gives only a hint of the content of what is, in effect, an encyclopaedia covering each of these aspects. The readability of its seven main sections, broken down into more than forty short essays by a wide variety of both Paraguayan and foreign authors, is a tribute to its joint editors, both of whom have written extensively about the country. For the armchair traveller or anyone with the remotest interest in Paraguay this is essential reading and for anyone intending to visit it, together with Margaret Hebblethwaite’s BRADT GUIDE, it will provide an invaluable introduction which will make the visit more interesting and enjoyable and will almost certainly provoke a desire to return, probably repeatedly.
A really good and insightful overview of Paraguay's history and culture - especially because it includes such a wide variety of extracts, from parts of academic histories to newspaper articles, from presidential speeches to songs. It makes you really feel like you're getting to hear from the people who actually have made the country what it is today rather than just some Western academics. I came across it late into doing some research into Paraguay, and it's been far the most useful thing I've read. I wished I'd started with it!
One of the best books I read this year. The Reader series are a great start point for those looking for an broad overview of the history, politics and culture of Latin American countries. The editors do an excellent job of selecting historical documents, stories, recipes, poems etc. They are greatly aided, however, by the richness of the source material. Paraguay is a unique country in Latin America and has a fascinating history and unique culture. This book inspired my own trip to the country and could well do the same for you.
For anyone researching this intensely mysterious and fascinating country, thinking of visiting it, or merely looking for an absorbing read, this exhaustively researched and wonderfully humane book is a must. Poetry, history, culture, faith, art, politics - everything is here. It simply can't be recommended highly enough.