Latin America: Underdevelopment or Revolution

Latin America: Underdevelopment or Revolution


By (author) Andre Gunder Frank


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  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 436 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 218mm x 30mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 5 April 1971
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0853451656
  • ISBN 13: 9780853451655
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

In his second book, Andre Gunder Frank expands on the theme presented in his influential study Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America. It is the colonial structure of world capitalism, in his view, which produced and maintains the underdevelopment characteristic of Latin America and the rest of the Third World. This colonial structure penetrates everywhere in Latin America, forming and transforming all its features in obedience to its own imperatives and thereby imposing upon the region those characteristic features of poverty and backwardness which are not primarily the remnants of an ancient "feudal" past but the direct products of capitalism. This development of underdevelopment will persist, Frank argues, until the people of Latin America free themselves from world capitalism by means of revolution.

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Editorial reviews

Frank is a professor of economics, little-known in the U.S. Outside professional, U.N. and left-academic circles, although his study of Chile and Brazil, Capitalism and Under development in Latin America was a remarkable contribution. This collection of articles focuses on twentieth-century political economy rather than Latin American history: but the historical dimension is very much present. Frank argues that "the metropolis" incorporated its "satellites" into the worldwide capitalist system, stealing their wealth and labor for its own development; it continues to do so, and they remain decapitalized, unproductive, and ever-poorer. From this point of view he attacks "dual economy," "takeoff," and other theories of underdevelopment. Frank is-best at his most polemical (contra Rostow, Heilbroner) and his most empirical (e.g. central Mexico as evidence for his claim that the least-developed regions are not virginal isolates but places formerly most dominated by the metropolis). His loftier ventures such as "Functionalism and Dialectics" tend to be turgid and elliptical. His relatively brief remarks on revolution posit the local bourgeoisies rather than invisible imperialists as the tactical enemy; but he undertakes little serious discussion of pre-revolutionary constellations and co-optations. And his metropolis remains a shadowy spider at the heart of his synthetic web. His mappings of the outer threads are exceptionally valuable; his jabs at other models will enrich students perspectives. (Kirkus Reviews)