Masses in Latin America

Masses in Latin America

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Product details

  • Paperback | 618 pages
  • 140 x 220mm | 62,142g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • tabs.
  • 0195007956
  • 9780195007954

Review Text

These essays reflect the decline of the '60's hopes for top-down reform in Latin America. Many of the seventeen contributors suggest reasons for it, notably Flores, Huizer and Barraclough on land redistribution. The essays are highly academic, in the sense of the audience they address and the sociological refinements they exhibit. For the most part their style reminds one that there is an all-too-factual basis for lampoons of social science jargon (to pick two better-known authors, Furtado and Touraine, not always given to opacity, are at their worst in that respect here). The book's organizing rubrics are not very meaningful: "masses and mobilization," "urbanization," "masses and politicalization": the urban-rural theme emerges as most important. Lower-class citydwellers in Chile, Peru, Mexico and Guatemala receive close scrutiny, with an overview of Latin American urban poverty by A. G. Frank. Weffort's preliminary study of "State and Mass in Brazil" is disappointing: Restropo on Colombian social change and Amaro Victoria on the origins of the Cuban revolution have a good deal to offer. Even apart from the authors' elaborate data tabulations, there is enough substance on "the masses" and "the interaction of mass and elite" to make this a mandatory work for specialists. The introduction by Horowitz (a sociology professor and author of Three Worlds of Development, 1966), after back-pats for actually talking about whole societies, spells out the questions of development strategy raised, if only by implication or postscript, in the essays. (Kirkus Reviews)show more