Proclaiming Revolution: Bolivia in Comparative Perspective / Edition 1

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Overview

In 1952 Bolivia was transformed by revolution. With the army destroyed from only a few days of fighting, workers and peasants took up arms to claim the country as their own. Overnight, the electorate expanded five-fold. Industries were turned over to worker organizations to manage, and land was distributed to peasant communities. Education became universal and free for the first time in the country's history.

This volume, the result of a conference organized by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies of Harvard University and the Institute for Latin American Studies at the University of London, presents new interpretations of the causes of the events of 1952 and compares them to the great social transformations that occurred in France, Mexico, Russia, China, and Cuba. It also considers the consequences of the revolution by examining the political, social, and economic development of the country, as well as adding important insights to the analysis of revolution and the understanding of this fascinating Andean country.

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Editorial Reviews

Hispanic American Historical Review

Proclaiming Revolution is an important contribution—the first book of its kind to approach the implications and consequences of the 1952 revolution in comparison with other Latin American revolutions of similar magnitude...[It] permits us to see the possibility of creating a society that is more humane, reconstructing diverse sociocultural identities in order to reinvent the Bolivian nation "sin mayziscúlas"—the plurimulti "nation" and not "Nation."
— Franco Gamboa Rocabado

Hispanic American Historical Review - Franco Gamboa Rocabado
Proclaiming Revolution is an important contribution--the first book of its kind to approach the implications and consequences of the 1952 revolution in comparison with other Latin American revolutions of similar magnitude...[It] permits us to see the possibility of creating a society that is more humane, reconstructing diverse sociocultural identities in order to reinvent the Bolivian nation "sin mayziscúlas"--the plurimulti "nation" and not "Nation."
Hispanic American Historical Review
Proclaiming Revolution is an important contribution--the first book of its kind to approach the implications and consequences of the 1952 revolution in comparison with other Latin American revolutions of similar magnitude...[It] permits us to see the possibility of creating a society that is more humane, reconstructing diverse sociocultural identities in order to reinvent the Bolivian nation "sin mayziscúlas"--the plurimulti "nation" and not "Nation."
— Franco Gamboa Rocabado
Foreign Affairs
When Harvard University and the University of London convened a conference to reexamine the 1952 Bolivian revolution on its 50th anniversary, few people noticed. A year later, however, Bolivia is very much back in the news. Triggered by nationalist fury over a proposed natural gas pipeline and the war on coca production, shantytown-dwellers and peasants converged on La Paz and forced the resignation of the pro-American, market-friendly president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada — raising once again the specter of chronic instability and rural revolt that has plagued Bolivia's turbulent history. This book, the product of that conference, therefore arrives at a fortuitous moment. Among the topics examined is the role of the United States, which came to terms with the Bolivian revolution much as it had with Mexico's even while fighting similar movements in Cuba, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. With the indigenous majority, as elsewhere in the Andes, increasingly restive and urbanized, the explanation for the current instability may also lie buried in these dense studies, including one of Bolivia's peculiar combination of major improvement in literacy and education and persistent poverty and economic backwardness. But overall, the book's authors seem blissfully unprepared for the earthquake that shook the system just as their book was released: they conclude that Bolivia established a modicum of political order after its return to democratic rule in 1982.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674011410
  • Publisher: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Series: David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies , #10
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Merilee S. Grindle is Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development and Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

Pilar Domingo is Lecturer in Politics, Queen Mary College, University of London.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

List of Contributors

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Acronyms

INTRODUCTION

1.1952 and All That: The Bolivian Revolution in Comparative Perspective

Merilee S. Grindle

PART 1: HOW REVOLUTIONARY THE REVOLUTION?

2. The Bolivian National Revolution: A Comparison

Laurence Whitehead

3. The Domestic Dynamics of the Mexican and Bolivian Revolutions

Alan Knight

4. Braked but not Broken: The United States and Revolutionaries in Mexico and Bolivia

Ken Lehman

PART 2: REVOLUTIONARY VISIONS AND ACTORS

5. Revolutionary Memory in Bolivia: Anticolonial and National Projects from 1781 to 1952

Sinclair Thomson

6.The Origins of the Bolivian Revolution in the Twentieth Century: Some Reflections

James Dunkerley

7. Revisiting the Rural Roots of the Revolution

Laura Gotkowitz

8. Capturing Indian Bodies, Hearths and Minds: 'El Hogar Campesino' and Rural School Reform in Bolivia, 1920s-1940s

Brooke Larson

PART 3: REVOLUTIONARY CONSEQUENCES

9. The National Revolution and its Legacy

Juan Antonio Morales

10. Social Change in Bolivia since 1952

Herbert S. Klein

11. A Comparative Perspective on Education Reforms in Bolivia: 1950-2000

Manuel E. Contreras

PART 4: UNFINISHED AGENDAS AND NEW INITIATIVES

12. Political Parties Since 1964: The Construction of Bolivia's Multiparty System

Eduardo Gamarra

13.Shadowing the Past? Policy Reform in Bolivia, 1985-2002

Merilee S. Grindle

14. The Offspring of 1952: Poverty, Exclusion and the Promise of Popular Participation

George Gray Molina

PART 5: CONCLUSION

15. Revolution and the Unfinished Business of Nation- and State- Building

Pilar Domingo

Bibliography

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