Part 1 The age of empire: discovery and conquest; Indians and Iberians; Spain in America; the Spanish Indies; colonial Brazil. Part 2 The challenge of the modern world: reform, crisis and independence; the quest of order - conservatives and liberals in the 19th century; civilization and cultural barbarism - literary and cultural development 1. Part 3 The 20th century: nationalism and development - an overview; Mexico - revoluion and stability; Brazil - order and progress; Cuba - dependency, nationalism and revolution; Argentina - the long decline; Chile - democaracy, revolution and dictatorship; identity and modernity - literary and cultural development 2.
Edwin Williamson is the King Alfonso XIII Chair of Spanish at Oxford University. His other book, Borges: A Life was also published by Penguin.
Penguin has contributed numerous useful works in its Latin American series, and this comprehensive, historical survey of the region is no exception. Williamson (Univ. of Edinburgh) has accomplished a nearly impossible task: He has produced a lucid, objective interpretation for the nonspecialist reader. The book is organized topically, rather than by country, and the author wisely selected regional examples of his major themes, rather than attempting a detailed analysis of each country. The work ends with an unusual exploration of literature and culture in relation to identity and modernization, followed by a helpful bibliographic essay. Highly recommended for most libraries.-- Roderic A. Camp, Latin American Ctr., Tulane Univ., New Orleans, La.