Fractured Utopias: A Personal Odyssey with History

Fractured Utopias: A Personal Odyssey with History

Fractured Utopias: A Personal Odyssey with History

Fractured Utopias: A Personal Odyssey with History


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Provocative, sad, sexual and compelling--Fractured Utopias is Roger Burbach's parting gift to the left movements of the Americas and the causes he served for over a half-century. Beginning with his farm upbringing in Wisconsin in the 1950s, Roger portrays his personal encounters with romance, revolution and war in North and South America. Detailed recollections of his time as a Peace Corp volunteer in the Peruvian Andes in the 60s, his first hand reporting of the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile, and his insider knowledge of the Sandinista Revolution provide vivid testimony on the victories and defeats of Latin American struggles for social justice.

In this revealing memoir, Roger brings the unflinching honesty he applied to his political work to bear on his personal passions and paradoxes as a husband, father and amorist. An award-winning author and editor of many books on Latin American social movements, US imperialism, 21st century socialism and globalization, Roger finished this manuscript just weeks before his death in March of 2015.

"Roger was truly a remarkable man who never let adversity get in this way. He will perhaps be best remembered for his writings and research, but he was above all an activist dedicated to the fight for a better world and a passionate supporter of the struggles of the people of Latin America. His writings and example provide a powerful beacon for us all."
-- Federico Fuentes, Editor of Bolivia Rising, and co-author with Roger Burbach and Michael Fox of Latin America's Turbulent Transitions; The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism

"Roger faced his disability in the same way he faced the challenges of doing hands-on research and reporting from Latin America: with determination, honesty and a great deal of courage. His physical determination was a reflection of his professional and political determination to honestly analyze and report on the struggles for sovereignty and social justice in the Americas -- and on the contradictions that some of those struggles fell into."
-- Fred Rosen, Former director and contributing editor of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780915117291
Publisher: Freedom Voices
Publication date: 05/01/2017
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents



0. Prologue: Revolution, Love and the Longing for Utopia 7

1. Paradise Lost 11

2. Farm Boy, Prodigy of Nuns, Draft Dodgers, Bootleggers 24

3. Cuba’s Revolution, Quandaries at Watertown High 37

4. Portrait of an Awkward Young Man as a Malcontent 43

5. Mexico, the First Odyssey 50

6. Life in Cleveland’s Ivory Tower 58

7. Paradoxes of a Peace Corps Volunteer 64

8. Gringo in the Andes 75

9. Nostalgia, Lovers and Idaho Potatoes 85

10. Joining the War At Home, 1968-69 92

11. Cuba: Encountering a Spartan Utopia 100

12. Weathermen on a Sugar Boat, Nixon’s War at Home 115

13. An Epiphany Begets a Utopian Vagabond 119

14. Levitating the Pentagon and Jail Time 123


15. The Long Trek Home from Paradise Lost 128

16. Tribulations at Home and in Latin America 132

17. Rejoining a Dysfunctional Family 136

18. Agribusiness, Left Politics, New Lover 140

19. Imperial Decline and a Dysfunctional Left 147

20. Dole’s Banana Republic Politics 154

21. Transitions: Amorous and Organizational 158


22 The Sandinista Insurgency, 1978 163

23 Transitions and the New Revolutionary Agenda 168

24 Life in the Big Apple 173

25 A Militant in the Sandinista Revolution 181

26 An Unsung Marriage in Toronto 188

27 Reagan Ascendancy, Clouds of War in Central America 191

28. Killing Fields and Birth 196

29. Political Assassination in Managua 201

30. Contra War and the Nouveau International 207

31. Pope in Nicaragua—Specter of US Invasion 215

32. Shared Utopia with International Solidarity Movement 219

33. Soviet MiGs and Nicaraguan Democracy 226

34. Chile, the Dream 232


35. The Pact with a Dictator 239

36. Chile, Selling Out a Revolution 245

37. A Christian Woman, Marijuana Bust and War 250

38. Nirvana and the Woman of My Dreams 259

39. Oceanic Crash: The End of Life as I Knew It 264

40. The Long Road Back and My Left Foot 268

41. Historic Utopia Torn Asunder 274

42. The Abyss 280

45. From Zapatismo to the Battle of Seattle 283

46. The Millennial Quest for Utopian Socialism 290

47. Mars and Utopian Existentialism 294

48. Epilogue: Utopia and the Grim Reaper 296

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