The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America

Oxford University Press
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The political and social upheavals that have transformed the economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the past ten years have sparked considerable interest and speculation on the part of Western observers. Less noted, though hardly less dramatic, has been the revolutionary spread of free market capitalism throughout much of Latin America during the same period. In a wide-ranging survey that illuminates both the history and present business climate of the region, Paul Roberts and Karen Araujo describe the economic transformation currently taking place in Latin America. And as they do so, they also reexamine many of the prevailing orthodoxies concerning international development and the regulation of markets, and point to the success of privatization and free enterprise in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile as harbingers of the economic future for both hemispheres. The potential strength of the economies of Central and South America has always been obvious, the authors point out. Abundant natural resources, combined with vast expanses of fertile land and a sophisticated and relatively cohesive social culture, are found throughout the region. But the authors show that the Latin American nations were slow to discard the economic and social climate that they had inherited from their Spanish colonial masters, who had ruled by selling government jobs--creating a network of privilege--and by suppressing through over-regulation the development of markets for goods, services, and capital. The prevalent cultural attitude in Latin America was hostile to commerce, trade, and work--indeed, it was more socially acceptable to court government privilege than to compete in markets. The authors further show that U.S. aid packages to the region actually reinforced this culture of privilege and further hampered the growth of a free economy. Not until the 1980s did the picture begin to change, largely in response to the economic crises brought on through catastrophic national debts and hyperinflation. The book describes the efforts of the Salinas, Pinochet, and Menem governments to combat the established interests of the local elites and the international development agencies, to privatized state industries, and to established independent markets. In this new climate, private capitalists and entrepreneurs are feted and celebrated, and productivity has risen to levels unimagined only a few years before. But this dramatic economic turnaround, the authors show, is a mixed blessing for the U.S. For if it provides us with a vast new market for our goods, it has also created a powerful new competitor for capital investment. To keep American and foreign capitalists investing in America, the government needs to make changes, which the authors outline in a provocative conclusion. Central and South America have a combined population of 460 million people, a potential market greater than the United States and Canada combined or the European Community. Thus the rise of free market capitalism in Latin America is of vital interest to the United States. The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America provides an insightful portrait of this dramatic economic turn-around, illuminating the economic consequences for our own society.
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About the author

Paul Craig Roberts is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy in Washington, D.C. and Research Fellow of the Independent Institute in Oakland, California. A former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, he is a columnist for Business Week and a director of companies with business interests in Latin America. Karen Lafollette Araujo is President of the Hemispheric Studies Institute, Research Associate at the Institute for Political Economy, Research Fellow of the Independent Institute, and Visiting Fellow of the Universidad Nacional Andres Bello, in Santiago, Chile.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Apr 17, 1997
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780198027195
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Business & Economics / Free Enterprise
Business & Economics / International / Economics
History / Latin America / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Since its U.S. debut a quarter-century ago, this brilliant text has set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. It is also an outstanding political economy, a social and cultural narrative of the highest quality, and perhaps the finest description of primitive capital accumulation since Marx.

Rather than chronology, geography, or political successions, Eduardo Galeano has organized the various facets of Latin American history according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation. Thus he is concerned with gold and silver, cacao and cotton, rubber and coffee, fruit, hides and wool, petroleum, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, aluminum ore, nitrates, and tin. These are the veins which he traces through the body of the entire continent, up to the Rio Grande and throughout the Caribbean, and all the way to their open ends where they empty into the coffers of wealth in the United States and Europe.

Weaving fact and imagery into a rich tapestry, Galeano fuses scientific analysis with the passions of a plundered and suffering people. An immense gathering of materials is framed with a vigorous style that never falters in its command of themes. All readers interested in great historical, economic, political, and social writing will find a singular analytical achievement, and an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak, unforgettably.

This classic is now further honored by Isabel Allende’s inspiring introduction. Universally recognized as one of the most important writers of our time, Allende once again contributes her talents to literature, to political principles, and to enlightenment.

A thousand years of legal protections against tyranny are being stolen right before our eyes. Under the guise of good intentions, personal liberties as old as the Magna Carta have become casualties in the wars being waged on pollution, drugs, white-collar crime, and all of the other real and imagined social ills. The result: innocent people caught up in a bureaucratic web that destroys lives and livelihoods; businesses shuttered because of victimless infractions; a justice system that values coerced pleas over the search for truth; bullying police agencies empowered to confiscate property without due process.

"A devastating indictment of our current system of justice." — Milton Friedman

In this provocative book, Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton show how the law, which once shielded us from the government, has now become a powerful weapon in the hands of overzealous prosecutors and bureaucrats. Lost is the foundation upon which our freedom rest—the intricate framework of Constitutional limits that protect our property, our liberty, and our lives. Roberts and Stratton convincingly argue that this abuse of government power doesn't have ideological boundaries. Indeed, conservatives and liberals alike use prosecutors, regulators, and courts to chase after their own favorite "devils," to seek punishment over justice and expediency over freedom. The authors present harrowing accounts of people both rich and poor, of CEOs and blue-collar workers who have fallen victim to the tyranny of good intentions, who have lost possessions, careers, loved ones, and sometimes even their lives.

This book is a sobering wake-up call to reclaim that which is rightly ours—liberty protected by the rule of law.


From the Hardcover edition.
People around the world know Dave Batista as World Wrestling Entertainment's "the Animal," the rope-shaking, spine-busting World Heavyweight Champion, one of the most popular Superstars in recent years.The crowd turned Batista from heel to babyface after they were electrified by his awesome physique and physical wrestling style.

Few fans, however, know that Batista didn't join the profession until he was thirty years old -- an age at which many wrestlers are thinking about hanging up their boots. Nor do most fans know the tremendous toll the climb to the top has taken on Batista's personal life. While successfully staying away from hard drugs and -- usually -- liquor, he found sex too tempting to resist.

"Women were my drug of choice," the Animal confesses. That addiction cost him his marriage, destroying a relationship that had helped him climb from poverty to the pinnacle of sports entertainment in less than two years.

Now, in Batista Unleashed, the WWE Superstar comes clean about the choices he made and the devastating effects they had on his family. He talks about the injury that stripped him of his title -- an injury he blames on Mark Henry's carelessness. While being sidelined cost Batista untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income, it also set the stage for a tremendous comeback that cemented the Animal's reputation as a true champion.

Batista talks about growing up in the worst part of Washington, D.C., where three murders occurred in his front yard before he was nine. He speaks lovingly about his mother -- a lesbian -- and how hard she worked to keep the family not just together but alive. He talks candidly about his own criminal past: a conviction on a drug charge and another, since overturned, on assault. He speaks of his days as a bouncer and a lifeguard, and tells how bodybuilding may have saved his life.

Once he made it to the WWE, Batista realized he wasn't really ready for the big time. His career seemed headed for a fall until Fit Finlay took him under his wing. But his real education came when he joined Evolution and rode with Triple H and Ric Flair, two of sports entertainment's all-time greats. Batista talks about what they taught him, and details some of their wild times on the road.

But the champ also reveals a kinder, gentler side. While his soft-spoken manner in the locker room has sometimes been misinterpreted as arrogance, in truth Batista's always been somewhat shy and quiet. Emotional by nature, he reveals for the first time that the tears fans saw at WrestleMania 21, when he won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time, were very real. And he speaks movingly about his problems with his ex-wives and teenage daughters, and how it felt to become a grandfather.

While his straight-shooting mouth has occasionally gotten him into trouble -- most notably in a backstage confrontation with Undertaker after some remarks about SmackDown! -- Batista is his own harshest critic. He explains his early limitations as a wrestler and the work he has done to overcome them. Interspersing his memoir with accounts from life on the road, Batista lightens the narrative with a surprising sense of humor. An Animal in the ring, he reveals himself as an honest and even humble man in everyday life.
Malintzin was the indigenous woman who translated for Hernando Cortés in his dealings with the Aztec emperor Moctezuma in the days of 1519 to 1521. "Malintzin," at least, was what the Indians called her. The Spanish called her doña Marina, and she has become known to posterity as La Malinche. As Malinche, she has long been regarded as a traitor to her people, a dangerously sexy, scheming woman who gave Cortés whatever he wanted out of her own self-interest.

The life of the real woman, however, was much more complicated. She was sold into slavery as a child, and eventually given away to the Spanish as a concubine and cook. If she managed to make something more out of her life--and she did--it is difficult to say at what point she did wrong. In getting to know the trials and intricacies with which Malintzin's life was laced, we gain new respect for her steely courage, as well as for the bravery and quick thinking demonstrated by many other Native Americans in the earliest period of contact with Europeans.

In this study of Malintzin's life, Camilla Townsend rejects all the previous myths and tries to restore dignity to the profoundly human men and women who lived and died in those days. Drawing on Spanish and Aztec language sources, she breathes new life into an old tale, and offers insights into the major issues of conquest and colonization, including technology and violence, resistance and accommodation, gender and power.

"Beautifully written, deeply researched, and with an innovative focus, Malintzin's Choices will become a classic. Townsend deftly walks the fine line between historical documentation and informed speculation to rewrite the history of the conquest of Mexico. Weaving indigenous and Spanish sources the author not only provides contextual depth to understanding Malintzin's critical role as translator and cultural interpreter for Cortes, but in the process she illuminates the broader panorama of choices experienced by both indigenous and Spanish participants. This work not only provides revisionst grist for experts, but will become a required and a popular reading for undergraduates, whether in colonial surveys or in specialty courses."--Ann Twinam, professor of history, University of Texas, Austin

"In this beautifully written and engrossing story of a controversial figure in Mexican history, Camilla Townsend does a wonderful job unraveling the multiple myths about Malintzin (Marina, Malinche), and placing her within her culture, her choices, and the tumultuous times in which she lived. The result is a portrayal of Malintzin as a complex human being forced by circumstances to confront change and adaptation in order to survive."--Susan M. Socolow, Emory University

"Camilla Townsend's text reads beautifully. She has a capacity to express complex ideas in simple, elegant language. This book consists of an interweaving of many strands of analysis. Malinche appears as symbol, as a historical conundrum, and as an actor in one of history's most fascinating dramas. The reader follows Malinche but all the while learns about the Nahuas' world. It is a book that will be extremely valuable for classrooms but also makes an important contribution to the academic literature."--Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, professor of history, Carleton University

A thousand years of legal protections against tyranny are being stolen right before our eyes. Under the guise of good intentions, personal liberties as old as the Magna Carta have become casualties in the wars being waged on pollution, drugs, white-collar crime, and all of the other real and imagined social ills. The result: innocent people caught up in a bureaucratic web that destroys lives and livelihoods; businesses shuttered because of victimless infractions; a justice system that values coerced pleas over the search for truth; bullying police agencies empowered to confiscate property without due process.

"A devastating indictment of our current system of justice." — Milton Friedman

In this provocative book, Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton show how the law, which once shielded us from the government, has now become a powerful weapon in the hands of overzealous prosecutors and bureaucrats. Lost is the foundation upon which our freedom rest—the intricate framework of Constitutional limits that protect our property, our liberty, and our lives. Roberts and Stratton convincingly argue that this abuse of government power doesn't have ideological boundaries. Indeed, conservatives and liberals alike use prosecutors, regulators, and courts to chase after their own favorite "devils," to seek punishment over justice and expediency over freedom. The authors present harrowing accounts of people both rich and poor, of CEOs and blue-collar workers who have fallen victim to the tyranny of good intentions, who have lost possessions, careers, loved ones, and sometimes even their lives.

This book is a sobering wake-up call to reclaim that which is rightly ours—liberty protected by the rule of law.


From the Hardcover edition.
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