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  • Print publication year: 1998
  • Online publication date: June 2012



The Cambridge History of Latin America (CHLA), edited by Leslie Bethell, is an international, collaborative, multi-volume history of Latin America during the five centuries from the first contacts between Europeans and the native peoples of the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries to the present day.

A Cultural History of Latin America brings together, in Part One, chapters from CHLA volume III Latin America: from Independence to c. 1870 (1985) and CHLA IV Latin America: c. 1870 to 1930 (1986) and, in Part Two, chapters from CHLA X Latin America since 1930: Ideas, Culture and Society (1995) to provide in a single volume a history of literature, music and the visual arts in Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries. This, it is hoped, will be useful for both teachers and students of Latin American history and culture.

There is a small degree of overlap between the second of the two chapters in Part One, a general survey of Latin American literature, music and the visual arts, which ends in 1930, an economic and political rather than a cultural watershed, and the separate chapters on narrative, poetry, music, architecture, and art in Part Two, all of which begin appropriately c. 1920.

A companion CHLA ‘student edition’ Ideas and Ideologies in Twentieth Century Latin America (1996) includes an essay by Richard M. Morse, ‘The multiverse of Latin American identity, c. 1920–c. 1970’, of particular interest to readers of this Cultural History of Latin America.