×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America
     

Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America

by Jeffery M. Paige
 
In the revolutionary decade between 1979 and 1992, it would have been difficult to find three political systems as different as death-squad-dominated El Salvador, peaceful social-democratic Costa Rica, and revolutionary Sandinista Nicaragua. Yet when the fighting ended, all three had found a common destination in democracy and free markets. In a landmark book that

Overview

In the revolutionary decade between 1979 and 1992, it would have been difficult to find three political systems as different as death-squad-dominated El Salvador, peaceful social-democratic Costa Rica, and revolutionary Sandinista Nicaragua. Yet when the fighting ended, all three had found a common destination in democracy and free markets. In a landmark book that fuses political economy and cultural analysis, Jeffery Paige shows that both the divergent political histories and their convergent outcome were shaped by a single commodity: coffee. His analysis challenges current theories of dictatorship and democracy, and shows that revolution in Central America is deeply rooted in the histories of the coffee elites.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines the elite coffee families of Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, and their relationship to the dramatic turn of events in each country. The author interweaves and compares the history, economics, and class structures of the three countries to describe the course of their recent struggles. Based largely on interviews with 62 leaders from fifty-eight of the coffee dynasties. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Thomas Carothers
A sweeping historical analysis of the encouraging yet still fragile emergence of democracy in Central America...Through exhaustive historical research and enterprising interviews, [the author] penetrates the worlds of the most powerful families of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica...He has illuminated a path for comprehending countries whose histories have often been caricatured by polemicists and ignored by policy makers. -- Thomas Carothers, "The New York Times Book Review"
New York Times Book Review
A sweeping historical analysis of the encouraging yet still fragile emergence of democracy in Central America...Through exhaustive historical research and enterprising interviews, [the author] penetrates the worlds of the most powerful families of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica...Paige has illuminated a path for comprehending countries whose histories have often been caricatured by polemicists and ignored by policy makers.
— Thomas Carothers
British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America
A detailed, comprehensive work on the complex relationship between coffee and political and financial might in this region...Coffee is evidently not the sole influence propelling these nations along the democratic path, but this volume demonstrates how ideologies and crises are interrelated, an important factor for a region with such an uncertain political future.
Agriculture and Human Values
The main lesson from this thoughtful, well-written book: if coffee is grown with less repression, with social welfare programs, with more owned by small-holders, then the poor are less likely to join revolutions...[Paige's conclusions] are reasonable and it is important to have them documented in this fair, well-researched book. This book will appeal to people interested in the history of Central America, to students of peace and war, to scholars of coffee economics and politics, and to political ecologists.
— Jeffery W. Bentley
American Anthropologist
Coffee and Power makes an important contribution to the literature on transitions to democracy. Paige notes with irony that the establishment of parliamentary democracies may represent the most important achievement of the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan Left of the 1980s, as it was for the Costa Rican Left of the 1930s and 1940s.
— Laurie Medina
New York Times Book Review - Thomas Carothers
A sweeping historical analysis of the encouraging yet still fragile emergence of democracy in Central America...Through exhaustive historical research and enterprising interviews, [the author] penetrates the worlds of the most powerful families of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica...Paige has illuminated a path for comprehending countries whose histories have often been caricatured by polemicists and ignored by policy makers.
Agriculture and Human Values - Jeffery W. Bentley
The main lesson from this thoughtful, well-written book: if coffee is grown with less repression, with social welfare programs, with more owned by small-holders, then the poor are less likely to join revolutions...[Paige's conclusions] are reasonable and it is important to have them documented in this fair, well-researched book. This book will appeal to people interested in the history of Central America, to students of peace and war, to scholars of coffee economics and politics, and to political ecologists.
American Anthropologist - Laurie Medina
Coffee and Power makes an important contribution to the literature on transitions to democracy. Paige notes with irony that the establishment of parliamentary democracies may represent the most important achievement of the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan Left of the 1980s, as it was for the Costa Rican Left of the 1930s and 1940s.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674136489
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
04/25/1997
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.47(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Jeffery M. Paige is Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews