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  • Cited by 11

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Many treatments of the twentieth-century Latin American left assume a movement populated mainly by affluent urban youth whose naïve dreams of revolution collapsed under the weight of their own elitism, racism, sexism, and sectarian dogmas. However, this book demonstrates that the history of the left was much more diverse. Many leftists struggled against capitalism and empire while also confronting racism, patriarchy, and authoritarianism. The left's ideology and practice were often shaped by leftists from marginalized populations, from Bolivian indigenous communities in the 1920s to the revolutionary women of El Salvador's guerrilla movements in the 1980s. Through ten historical case studies of ten different countries, Making the Revolution highlights some of the most important research on the Latin American left by leading senior and up-and-coming scholars, offering a needed corrective and valuable contribution to modern Latin American history, politics, and sociology.


'This powerful collection of essays compels us to rethink the relationship of the Latin American Left to indigenous and African descendant communities. For decades, scholars have sharply criticized the Left’s unconscious and conscious racism and sexism. These finely wrought and well-researched essays reveal the grassroots dynamics that pushed back against the ideological rigidity that promoted such tendencies. From Bolivian anarchists to peasant insurrecionists in Guerrero to Cuban feminists, this volume presents a variegated, often anti-authoritarian Left that cannot be pigeonholed into the inherited categories of sectarian Stalinists and middle-class guerrilleros.'

Jeffrey Gould - Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University and author of Solidarity Under Siege: The Salvadoran Class Struggle, 1970–1990

'A fascinating collection of essays that challenge conventional interpretations of the Left in Latin America. Spanning the period from the Russian Revolution to the rise of Neoliberalism, the authors dispute the view that Latin American Left movements did not grapple with overlapping forms of oppression such as racism against the indigenous and people of African descent, or patriarchal domination of women. Grounded in rich examples of popular struggles throughout the hemisphere, the authors provide new insights on the history of radicalism in Latin America.'

Miguel R. Tinker Salas - Leslie Farmer Professor of Latin American Studies, Pomona College, California

‘Making the Revolution succeeds in correcting misconceptions surrounding the inclusiveness of twentieth-century leftist movements … But the essays in Making the Revolution resist this temptation, creating a rich mosaic of histories that make an essential contribution to the scholarship on Latin American radicalism.’

Jeffrey Mazo Source: Survival

‘As the turn-of-the-century wave of Leftist governments gives way to a more conservative climate, this significant contribution offers a powerful antidote to contemporary political cynicism … Highly recommended.’

B. A. Lucero Source: Choice

‘an uncommonly cohesive volume … especially useful in the classroom in advanced undergraduate classes in history, political science, and Latin American Studies … I am looking forward to the reasoned debates it will provoke among my students.’

Amelia M. Kiddle Source: Histoire sociale / Social History

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  • Introduction - Revolutionary Actors, Encounters, and Transformations
    pp 1-18


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