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Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History

Turits, Richard Lee

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ISBN 10: 0804743533 / ISBN 13: 9780804743532
Published by Stanford University Press, 2002
Used Condition: Very good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the ...

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

About this title


This book explores the history of the Dominican Republic as it evolved from the first European colony in the Americas into a modern nation under the rule of Rafael Trujillo. It investigates the social foundations of Trujillo's exceptionally enduring and brutal dictatorship (1930-1961) and, more broadly, the way power is sustained in such non-democratic regimes. The author reveals how the seemingly unilateral imposition of power by Trujillo in fact depended on the regime's mediation of profound social and economic transformations, especially through agrarian policies that assisted the nation's large independent peasantry. By promoting an alternative modernity that sustained peasants' free access to land during a period of economic growth, the regime secured peasant support as well as backing from certain elite sectors. This book thus elucidates for the first time the hidden foundations of the Trujillo regime.


"One of the best works ever done on the Dominican Republic, this wonderful book goes a long way toward explaining not only the long-lived Trujillo dictatorship but subsequent Dominican social and political history as well. It is also a powerful critique of the simplistic demonizing of the Caribbean dictatorial model of politics attached to strongmen like Trujillo, Somoza, and Duvalier." - Lowell Gudmundson, Mount Holyoke College "One of the two or three best books on Latin American history that I have read in the past fifteen years. I have no doubt that it will stand the test of time as a fundamental text in the historiography of the Caribbean.... The book is close to a masterpiece. It is elegantly written, extensively documented, and superbly argued." - Jeffrey L. Gould, Indiana University

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