History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America

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The general perception of modern Latin American political institutions emphasizes a continuing and random process of disorder and crisis, continually out of step with other regions in their progress toward democracy and prosperity. In History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America, Torcuato S. Di Tella demonstrates that this common view lacks context and comparative nuance, and is deeply misleading. Looking behind the scenes of modern Latin American history, he discerns its broad patterns through close analysis of actual events and comparative sociological perspectives that explain the apparent chaos of the past and point toward the more democratic polity now developing.

Di Tella argues that although Latin America has peculiarities of its own, they must be understood in their contrasts--and similarities--with both the developed centers and undeveloped peripheries of the world. Latin American societies have been prone to mass rebellions from very early on, more so than in other regions of the world. He analyzes, as well, such significant exceptions to this pattern as Chile, Colombia, and, to a large extent, Brazil. Turning to the other side of the social spectrum, he shows how the underpriviledged classes have tended to support strongman populist movements, which have the double character of being aggressive toward the established order, but at the same time repressive of public liberties and of more radical groups. Di Tella provides here a necessary examination of the concept of populism and divides it into several variants. Populism, he maintains, is by no means disappearing, but its variants are instead undergoing important changes with significant bearing on the region's near-term future.

History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America is rich in historical description, but also in its broad review of social structures and of the strengths and weaknesses of political institutions. Choice commented that "this heavily documented volume with an extensive bibliography would prove valuable to researchers and advanced students of Latin America."

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About the Author:

Torcuato S. Di Tella is professor of sociology at the University of Buenos Aires. His books available in English include Latin American Politics: A Theoretical Approach, National Popular Politics in Early Independent Mexico, 1820-1847.

Review:

“DiTella (sociology, Univ. of Buenos Aires) has expanded and updated a book originally published in 1993. As the title indicates, he employs historical sociological analysis to assess how well Latin American political parties are incorporating groups into their political processes at the beginning of the 21st century... This heavily documented volume with an extensive bibliography would prove valuable to researchers and advanced students of Latin America. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate and professional collections in libraries with strong holdings in Latin American affairs.” 

—J. A. Rhodes, Choice

"Di Tella's book succeeds in the valiant effort to present a comprehensive view of the intricate web of players and games that shaped the political life of the region in the last century. The volume achieves this goal with a fantastic sense of humor and a sharp, highly original prose. It will make an excellent reading for courses on Latin American history, politics, and democratization."

Ariel C. Armony, Colby College

"[W]hat really serves as a recommendation [of this book] is the fact that Di Tella shows quite often what some countries have in common and where there are important differences."

Rudolf Kerscher, Iberoamericana

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The general perception of modern Latin American political institutions emphasizes a continuing and random process of disorder and crisis, continually out of step with other regions in their progress toward democracy and prosperity. In History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America, Torcuato S. Di Tella demonstrates that this common view lacks context and comparative nuance, and is deeply misleading. Looking behind the scenes of modern Latin American history, he discerns its broad patterns through close analysis of actual events and comparative sociological perspectives that explain the apparent chaos of the past and point toward the more democratic polity now developing.Di Tella argues that although Latin America has peculiarities of its own, they must be understood in their contrasts--and similarities--with both the developed centers and undeveloped peripheries of the world. Latin American societies have been prone to mass rebellions from very early on, more so than in other regions of the world. He analyzes, as well, such significant exceptions to this pattern as Chile, Colombia, and, to a large extent, Brazil. Turning to the other side of the social spectrum, he shows how the underpriviledged classes have tended to support strongman populist movements, which have the double character of being aggressive toward the established order, but at the same time repressive of public liberties and of more radical groups. Di Tella provides here a necessary examination of the concept of populism and divides it into several variants. Populism, he maintains, is by no means disappearing, but its variants are instead undergoing important changes with significant bearing on the region s near-term future.History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America is rich in historical description, but also in its broad review of social structures and of the strengths and weaknesses of political institutions. Choice commented that this heavily documented volume with an extensive bibliography would prove valuable to researchers and advanced students of Latin America. Seller Inventory # AA69781412805100

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The general perception of modern Latin American political institutions emphasizes a continuing and random process of disorder and crisis, continually out of step with other regions in their progress toward democracy and prosperity. In History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America, Torcuato S. Di Tella demonstrates that this common view lacks context and comparative nuance, and is deeply misleading. Looking behind the scenes of modern Latin American history, he discerns its broad patterns through close analysis of actual events and comparative sociological perspectives that explain the apparent chaos of the past and point toward the more democratic polity now developing.Di Tella argues that although Latin America has peculiarities of its own, they must be understood in their contrasts--and similarities--with both the developed centers and undeveloped peripheries of the world. Latin American societies have been prone to mass rebellions from very early on, more so than in other regions of the world. He analyzes, as well, such significant exceptions to this pattern as Chile, Colombia, and, to a large extent, Brazil. Turning to the other side of the social spectrum, he shows how the underpriviledged classes have tended to support strongman populist movements, which have the double character of being aggressive toward the established order, but at the same time repressive of public liberties and of more radical groups. Di Tella provides here a necessary examination of the concept of populism and divides it into several variants. Populism, he maintains, is by no means disappearing, but its variants are instead undergoing important changes with significant bearing on the region s near-term future.History of Political Parties in Twentieth-Century Latin America is rich in historical description, but also in its broad review of social structures and of the strengths and weaknesses of political institutions. Choice commented that this heavily documented volume with an extensive bibliography would prove valuable to researchers and advanced students of Latin America. Seller Inventory # AA69781412805100

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