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Bandits, Peasants, and Politics : The Case of "La Violencia" in Colombia (Translations from Latin America Series (Hardcover), by Gonzalo Sánchez, Donny Meertens, Sá (Authors), Gonzalo nchez Alan Hynds (Translator). University of Texas Press; 1st University of Texas Press Ed edition (March 2001).
The years 1945-1965 saw heavy partisan conflict in the rural areas of Colombia, with at least 200,000 people killed. This virtual civil war began as a sectarian conflict between the Liberal and Conservative parties, with rural workers (campesinos) constituting the majority of combatants and casualties. Yet La Violencia resists classification as a social uprising, since calls for social reform were largely absent during this phase of the struggle. In fact, once the elite leadership settled on a power-sharing agreement in 1958, the conflict appeared to subside. This book focuses on the second phase (1958-1965) of the struggle, in which the social dimensions of the conflict emerged in a uniquely Colombian form: the campesinos, shaped by the earlier violence, became social and political bandits, no longer acting exclusively for powerful men above them but more in defense of the peasantry. In comparing them with other regional expressions of bandolerismo, the authors weigh the limited prospects for the evolution of Colombian banditry into full-scale social revolution. Published originally in 1983 as Bandoleros, gamonales y campesinos and now updated with a new epilogue, this book makes a timely contribution to the discourse on social banditry and the Colombian violencia. Its importance rests in the insights it provides not only on the period in question but also on Colombia's present situation.  Information

Crossroads of Intervention: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Lessons from Central America (Terrorism, Counterinsurgency, and Irregular Warfare) (Hardcover), by Todd Greentree. Praeger Security International General Interest-Cloth (March 30, 2008).
The challenges that vex the United States today in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere are not altogether as new and unique as they seem. U.S. involvement in Central America during the 1980s clearly demonstrated the costs, risks, and limits to intervention and the use of force in internal conflicts. Much can be learned today about the nature of irregular warfare from the experiences of the United States and the other protagonists in Central America during the final phase of the Cold War. The U.S. perceived a threat to national security in these wars from determined insurgents with a compelling revolutionary ideology and powerful allies that linked them to other conflicts around the world. This strategy and policy analysis makes a new contribution to irregular warfare theory through an examination of the origins, strategic dynamics, and termination of the Sandinista insurrection in Nicaragua, the decade long counterinsurgency of the Salvadoran government against the FMLN guerrillas, and the concurrent Contra insurgency against the Sandinistas. Many of the lessons about the fundamental and recurring nature of irregular warfare are being rediscovered in the current challenges of radical Islam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, despite the great differences in circumstance, culture, and geography. In the Central American case, three successive Presidents encountered serious domestic controversy over U.S. policies and refrained from sending U.S. combat troops to intervene directly. Most importantly, they prudently heeded warnings that internal wars of all types are rarely subject to military solutions, because their natures are equally and fundamentally political. Greentree presents his argument as a strategy and policy case study of the civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador during the final decade of the Cold War. The book comprises an examination of the origins, strategic dynamics, and termination of these wars from the points of view of the main participants--Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and the United States. It also develops a general conceptual framework for understanding the nature of insurgency, counterinsurgency, revolution, and intervention that builds on classic strategic theory and contemporary thought on irregular warfare. From the perspective of global superpower conflict, the wars in Central America were peripheral "small wars" or "low intensity conflicts". However, for the internal protagonists these were total and bloody wars for survival. Involvement in such wars has been cyclical in the U.S. experience, and it is misfortunate, if not tragic, that the greatly similar problems encountered across widely varying circumstances are quickly forgotten. Information

Exploring Revolution: Essays on Latin American Insurgency and Revolutionary Theory (Hardcover), by Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley. M E Sharpe Inc (March 1991).  Information

Guerrillas and Revolution in Latin America (Paperback), by Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley. Princeton University Press (January 25, 1993).
This bookrepresents the first real attempt to bring together Latin American case studies and sociological theories of revolution. It provides a useful framework for students seeking to compare the Latin American guerrilla experiences. Wickham-Crowley has produced a persuasive corrective to the views of those who have underestimated the importance of peasant support for guerrillas and overestimated the value of international support--either for the guerrillas or for their opponents.  Information

Insurgency, Authoritarianism, and Drug Trafficking in Mexico's Democratization (Latin American Studies: Social Sciences & Law) (Hardcover), by Jose Luis Velasco. Routledge; 1 edition (December 30, 2004).
Mexico's "democratic transition" has created a competitive electoral system and a formally plural state. But authoritarian practices have shown their capacity to thrive in this competitive context. Besides, a peculiar wave of insurgency, started in 1994, has challenged the alleged moderating effect of democratic transition. At the same time, the illegal drug business became larger and probably increased its political influence, undermining the rule of law and democratic accountability. This book argues that socioeconomic inequality is the main factor behind this combination of democratic and undemocratic trends. Inequality has corrupting effects upon democratization; conversely, the apparently democratic system tends to legitimate economic inequality and thereby contributes to reproducing it. Thus, a far-reaching redistribution of socioeconomic power is indispensable for breaking the vicious circle created by inequality and authoritarianism.  Information

Latin America in the Era of the Cuban Revolution: Revised Edition (Paperback), by Thomas C. Wright. Praeger Paperback; Revised edition (October 30, 2000).
After Fidel Castro's guerrilla war against dictator Fulgencio Batista triumphed on January 1, 1959, the Cuban Revolution came to be seen as a major watershed in Latin American history. The three decades following Castro's victory gradually marginalized Cuba from the Latin American mainstream. But, as long-time Cuba observer Thomas C. Wright shows, the Cuban Revolution owed its vast influence in Latin America to the fact that it embodied the aspirations and captured the imaginations of Latin America's masses as no other political movement had ever done. After reviewing the background to Castro's Cuban Revolution, Wright examines the radical social and economic transformation of Cuba and Castro's efforts to actively promote insurrection against established governments and bourgeois power throughout Latin America. He then analyzes,in detail, the military "revolution" in Peru, the Allende government in Chile, and the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. Then Wright looks at the phenomena that affected all or major parts of Latin America--the impact of fidelismo, U.S. responses to revolution, rural guerrilla warfare, urban guerrilla warfare, and the new-style institutional military regimes created to fight revolution. He concludes with a summary of the rise and fall of Cuban influence in the hemisphere and offers an overview of the Latin American political landscape in the 1990s. An engaging synthesis for students and scholars interested in the Cuban Revolution and its impact on Latin America in the second half of the twentieth century. Information

Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980-1995 (Latin America Otherwise) (Paperback), by Steve J. Stern. Duke University Press (December 1998).
Shining and Other Paths offers the first systematic account of the social experiences at the heart of the war waged between Shining Path and the Peruvian military during the 1980s and early 1990s. Confronting and untangling the many myths and enigmas that surround the war and the wider history of twentieth-century Peru, this book presents clear and often poignant analyses of the brutal reshaping of life and politics during a war that cost tens of thousands of lives. The contributors—a team of Peruvian and U.S. historians, social scientists, and human rights activists—explore the origins, social dynamics, and long-term consequences of the effort by Shining Path to effect an armed communist revolution. The book begins by interpreting Shining Path’s emergence and decision for war as one logical culmination, among several competing culminations, of trends in oppositional politics and social movements. It then traces the experiences of peasants and refugees to demonstrate how human struggle and resilience came together in grassroots determination to defeat Shining Path, and explores the unsuccessful efforts of urban shantytown dwellers, as well as rural and urban activists, to build a “third path” to social justice. Integral to this discussion is an examination of women’s activism and consciousness during the years of the crisis. Finally, this book analyzes the often paradoxical and unintended legacies of this tumultuous period for social and human rights movements, and for presidential and military leadership in Peru. Extensive field research, broad historical vision, and strong editorial coordination enable the authors to write a coherent and deeply humanistic account, one that draws out the inner tragedies, ambiguities, and conflicts of the war.  Information

Struggles for Social Rights in Latin America (Paperback), by Susan Eckstein. Routledge; 1 edition (November 8, 2002).
Struggles for Social Rights in Latin America is the authoritative collection for exploring the broad span of social rights struggles in Latin America. This pioneering book explores how, when, and why a broad range of groups have struggled to secure a range of social rights in Latin America. Essays come from a range of scholars in a variety of disciplines and tackle the most pressing concerns in Latin American societies. The essays present Latin Americans' own views, deprivations and struggles over rights. It is the first book to portray in rich and nuanced detail the different Latin American class, ethnic, racial, gender and sexual minority perceptions of their social rights and struggles to secure greater justice. Individual topics include the environment, AIDS, workers' rights, women's movements, citizenship, indigenous rights, tourism, and many more. With all original essays from top scholars in the field, this is an invaluable resource for exploring and understanding the intricacies and diversities of human rights struggles across Latin America.  Information

The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures (Palgrave Essential Histories) (Paperback), by Marshall C. Eakin. Palgrave Macmillan (June 12, 2007).
This narrative history of Latin America surveys five centuries in less than five hundred pages.  The first third of the book moves from the Americas before Columbus to the wars for independence in the early nineteenth century.  The construction of new nations and peoples in the nineteenth century forms the middle third, and the final section analyzes economic development, rising political participation, and the search of identity over the last century.   The collision of peoples and cultures--Native Americans, Europeans, Africans--that defines Latin America, and gives it both its unity and diversity, provides the central theme of this concise, synthetic history.  Information

Vanguard Revolutionaries in Latin America: Peru, Colombia, Mexico (Paperback), by James F. Rochlin. Lynne Rienner Publishers (November 2002).   Information

What Justice? Whose Justice?: Fighting for Fairness in Latin America (Paperback), by Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley (Author), Susan Eva Eckstein (Editor). University of California Press; 1 edition (October 9, 2003).
The new millennium began with the triumph of democracy and markets. But for whom is life just, how so, and why? And what is being done to correct persisting injustices? Blending macro-level global and national analysis with in-depth grassroots detail, the contributors highlight roots of injustices, how they are perceived, and efforts to alleviate them. Following up on issues raised in the groundbreaking best-seller Power and Popular Protest: Latin American Social Movements (California, 2001), these essays elucidate how conceptions of justice are socially constructed and contested and historically contingent, shaped by people's values and institutionally grounded in real-life experiences. The contributors, a stellar coterie of North and Latin American scholars, offer refreshing new insights that deepen our understanding of social justice as ideology and practice.   Information


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