A Culture of Its Own: Taking Latin America Seriously

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A Culture of Its Own: Taking Latin America Seriously presents Mark Falcoff's essays on the region. Many of them are contentious; none of them are dull. He ranges from bilingualism to the cult of Garcia Lorca, from U.S.-Cuban relations to Chile's curious love affair with Germany. On more than one occasion, Falcoff takes aim at American journalism and scholarship, both of which, he argues, have all too often produced a fantasy version of Latin America which reflects our own national narcissism rather than genuine curiosity about the other. Latin America, Falcoff argues, is not merely a geographical extension of the United States, or a kind of downmarket version of the American Southwest. It is a culture all its own, with its own historical memory, sensibility, and worldview. Its achievements—and its miseries—are also its own, not the end-product of policies made by the Pentagon, Wall Street, or the CIA.

Falcoff writes about the region with originality, iconoclastic wit, and distinctive literary flair. His volume will interest Latin American specialists, diplomats, and journalists as well as those general readers who think they are not interested in Latin America—or who only suspect they might be, but don't know quite where to start.

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About the Author:

Mark Falcoff is a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, permanent senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and a former national fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University. He has taught history at the University of Oregon, is co-editor otPeron: Argentina in Depression and War, 1930-1943, and has written widely on Latin America for Commentary.

Review:

“A student of Latin American history and culture in the late 1950s, Falcoff notes that there was little to study before 1959 when Fidel Castro presented the threat of revolutionary contagion in the hemisphere. Castro provoked substantial support for studying Latin America. Falcoff claims that this support paradoxically developed a dissident intelligentsia rather than a patriotic corp of specialists in service to the U.S. Falcoff presents himself as a contrarian, "liberated from any sense of orthodoxy," attempting to expand the boundaries of his area of study beyond social science to encompass the totality of Latin American culture. In this collection of essays, lectures and reviews, written over the past 15 years, Falcoff touches on the cultural wars, that is, the growing Spanish-speaking population in the U.S and its role in the debate on multiculturalism. Falcoff refutes the common notion that the U.S. pushed Cuba into the arms of the Soviet Union.”

--Vernon Ford

"This book demonstrates why Falcoff. . . . has become the most formidable conservative commentator on Latin America in the United States. Falcoff takes aim at his erstwhile academic colleagues, who, he argues, trivialize Latin America by pretending that 'these countries are picturesque extensions of American power rather than societies with lives of their own, rich in contradictions and' conflict. . . . He sees the Cuban-American community as demonized by the academic left precisely because the material and cultural success of the Cuban diaspora has yet to force a revision of its notions of what Latin Americans are capable of achieving without surrendering their identity given the right economic and legal circumstances. He also criticizes the image of Latin America as a revolutionary hotbed which exists in a kind of ideological cocoon."

Foreign Affairs

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Book Description Taylor & Francis Inc, United Kingdom, 1998. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. A Culture of Its Own: Taking Latin America Seriously presents Mark Falcoff's essays on the region. Many of them are contentious; none of them are dull. He ranges from bilingualism to the cult of Garcia Lorca, from U.S.-Cuban relations to Chile's curious love affair with Germany. On more than one occasion, Falcoff takes aim at American journalism and scholarship, both of which, he argues, have all too often produced a fantasy version of Latin America which reflects our own national narcissism rather than genuine curiosity about the other. Latin America, Falcoff argues, is not merely a geographical extension of the United States, or a kind of downmarket version of the American Southwest. It is a culture all its own, with its own historical memory, sensibility, and worldview. Its achievements -and its miseries-are also its own, not the end-product of policies made by the Pentagon, Wall Street, or the CIA.Falcoff writes about the region with originality, iconoclastic wit, and distinctive literary flair. His volume will interest Latin American specialists, diplomats, and journalists as well as those general readers who think they are not interested in Latin America-or who only suspect they might be, but don't know quite where to start. Seller Inventory # BTE9781560003618

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