Colonial Heritage of Latin America

Colonial Heritage of Latin America : Essays on Economic Dependence in Perspective

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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 132.08 x 203.2 x 10.16mm | 249.47g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0195001168
  • 9780195001167

Review Text

An interpretation of Latin American history from 1500 through the nineteenth century, by a Princeton authority and his wife. It is very well-written, and as a compact survey of colonial relations it will be useful with its welcome attention to the Spanish trade system as a conduit for British, French and Dutch enterprise. Not too much room is devoted to the administrative arrangements customarily detailed in such histories. And with the post-colonial era the grave faultfinding will start. There is at least an attempt to compare and explain the divergent development of North and South American ex-colonies. But the conclusions are sometimes frustratingly telegraphic; "The pre-eminent social legacy of [Latin] colonialism was the degradation of the labor force." The section on the economic basis of neo-colonialism is dubious both in particulars and in general. Having described the post-independence acceleration of large estate formation, the authors label "the hacienda" as "a colonial legacy." The whole "legacy" theme becomes tendentious as the authors insinuate that the causes of current backwardness are to be found in the colonial past rather than the latter-day international relations they skirt. Moreover, their effort to differentiate types of nineteenth-century Latin American societies is never carried through: Brazil comes out a monoculture. Given the paperback issue; it's a must chiefly for large collections. (Kirkus Reviews)show more