The Paraguayan War, Volume 1: Causes and Early Conductby Thomas L. Whigham, Thomas Whigham
The Paraguayan War (1864–70) was the deadliest and most extensive interstate war ever fought in Latin America. The conflict involving Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil killed hundreds of thousands of people and had dire consequences for the Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López and his nation. Though the Paraguayan War stirs the same emotions in South Americans as does the Civil War in the United States, there have been few significant investigations of the war available in English.
In this first of two volumes, Thomas L. Whigham provides an engrossing and comprehensive account of the war's origins and early campaigns, and he guides the reader through the complexities of South American nationalism, military development, and political intrigue. Whigham portrays the conflict as bloody and inexcusable, though it paved the way for more modern societies in the continent. The Paraguayan War fills an important gap in our understanding of Latin American history.
"Whigham's contribution is a detailed narrative that reveals a Lopez whose strategic and geopolitical instincts were sound but whose arrogance undercut his ability to lead. The description of the geographic setting and the vivid thumbnail sketches of many of the officers further elevate the account beyond that of one man's blindness. The reader understands the full history of a tragic war, lengthened because of incompetence and errors on all sides."—Judith Ewell, Journal of Military History
"The longest and fullest ever written, destined to remain a standard text for decades. The author displays great command of his multiple sources."—David Rock, The Historian
"Whigham has produced a magnificent book. . . . A powerful and lucid narrative of the war's developments, with all its complexities: its military manoeuvres, internal politics and diplomatic exchanges, and its horrors and cruelties on the battlefield."—Eduardo Posada-Carbo, The International History Review
“Thomas Whigham’s new history is greatly to be welcomed.”—Charles J. Esdaile, Hispanic American Historical Review
Charles J. Esdaile
“It is rare to come across a work of traditional diplomatic history among new books appearing on Latin American history. It is also most unusual to find that the same study will be spread out over tow volumes. The Paraguayan War is certainly a fitting topic for such extensive and in-depth treatment. Professor Whigham’s first volume explores the causes and recounts in detail the early part of the conflict up to New Years Day 1866.”—Joseph Smith, Journal of Latin American Studies
Meet the Author
Thomas L. Whigham is a professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is the author of The Politics of River Trade: Tradition and Development in the Upper Plata, 1780–1870.
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