The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development / Edition 1by María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo
Pub. Date: 11/07/2003
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo boldly argues that crucial twentieth-century revolutionary challenges to colonialism and capitalism in the Americas have failed to resist—and in fact have been constitutively related to—the very developmentalist narratives/i>… See more details below
In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo boldly argues that crucial twentieth-century revolutionary challenges to colonialism and capitalism in the Americas have failed to resist—and in fact have been constitutively related to—the very developmentalist narratives that have justified and naturalized postwar capitalism. Saldaña-Portillo brings the critique of development discourse to bear on such exemplars of revolutionary and resistant political thought and practice as Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Malcolm X, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, and the Guatemalan guerrilla resistance. She suggests that for each of these, developmentalist constructions frame the struggle as a heroic movement from unconsciousness to consciousness, from a childlike backwardness toward a disciplined and self-aware maturity.
Reading governmental reports, memos, and policies, Saldaña-Portillo traces the arc of development narratives from its beginnings in the 1944 Bretton Woods conference through its apex during Robert S. McNamara's reign at the World Bank (1968–1981). She compares these narratives with models of subjectivity and agency embedded in the autobiographical texts of three revolutionary icons of the 1960s and 1970s—those of Che Guevara, Guatemalan insurgent Mario Payeras, and Malcolm X—and the agricultural policy of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Saldaña-Portillo highlights a shared paradigm of a masculinist transformation of the individual requiring the "transcendence" of ethnic particularity for the good of the nation. While she argues that this model of progress often alienated the very communities targeted by the revolutionaries, she shows how contemporary insurgents such as Rigoberta Menchú, the Zapatista movement, and queer Aztlán have taken up the radicalism of their predecessors to retheorize revolutionary subjectivity for the twenty-first century.
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Ride around your favorite roller coaster a couple of times. Pause for a breath and then strap yourself in for a third trip, BUT this time face backwards and carry a pair of binoculars so you can peer at the details of the by now familiar landscape.... Oooops ! Looks a whole lot different this time and familiar no longer applies ! It is precisely such a bracing excursion that Ms. Saldana invites any intrepid reader to undertake should they dare to crack open the cover of her breathtaking , wide- screen , roundhouse punch to the cerebral plexus sort of a so- called book. So ya think you know a thing or two about political & economic shenanigans in the the Western Hemisphere during the 20th century & beyond ? Well of course you do ! So buckle up and compare thoughts w/ Saldana-Portillo as she navigates through our times and territory with a falcon's swooping perspective and the cool familiarity of a straight up eyewitness. Mixing wit with precision , the author employs an engaging dual- voiced approach to this serious exegesis of contemporary all-American history. The main argument is cinched as tight as a Buckminster Fuller polyhedral and buttressed with observations culled from many a multi- disciplinary moat crossing.......In the book's delightfully free-blowing footnoted section Saldana expresses her point of view with an invigorating lyricism that should revive any reader's flagging stamina. Stay away from this if your favorite whipped cream comes out of spray cans, but if you'd appreciate having your training wheels removed.... , ' The Revolutionary Imagination....' will do the trick !