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José de San Martín (17781850) was an enigmatic figure—a revolutionary and a conservative, a professional soldier and an intellectual, a taciturn man who nevertheless was able to inspire the peoples of South America to follow his armies and accept his battle strategies. One of the great leaders in the wars for independence, he was a pivotal force in the liberation of Chile and Peru from Spanish rule.
In the first full English-language biography of San Martín in more than half a century, John Lynch shines new light on San Martín and on the story of Spanish America’s revolutionary wars. Lynch offers a series of dramatic set pieces: the Peninsular War, in which San Martín fought the French and learned his military skills; the crossing of the Andes, when his army battled the forces of nature as well as enemy fire; the confrontation with imperial Spain in Peru; and the standoff with Bolívar which led to San Martín’s resignation and exile in Europe. Based on the latest documentation, San Martín enhances our understanding of the modern history of Latin America and one of its most brilliant leaders.
List of Illustrations
List of Maps
1 Soldier of Spain 1
2 The Revolution Calls 28
3 A Continental Strategy 55
4 Power Base of Revolution 72
5 Across the Andes 91
6 Peru, the Carthage of San Martin 115
7 Monarchist in a World of Republics 138
8 Liberal in a Conservative Society 162
9 Last Chance in Guayaquil 182
10 Exile 204
Posted June 14, 2009
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I'm half way through and so far I am enjoying and learning a lot about the 1800s liberation movements. George Washington helped liberate thirteen colonies, wonderful but Jose de San Martin helped liberate a whole continent! How was this done? The author asks questions throughout the book and offers sound research to answer them. Its interesting that some of the upper class creolles (Spaniards born in the New World) were for an Enlightened King(s) for the nations of South America. Sort of a moderate enlightenment excluding black slaves,free blacks, native americans, women (of course), and most mixed persons (castas). Though if you had enough money you could buy your whiteness, this might seem strange to us in the USA but there were a diversity of views. Thank you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.