John Charles Chasteen: Americanos Latin America's Struggle for Independence Pivotal Moments in World History

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Ery engaging well written history of Latin American independence My grandson has a wry sense of humor I helped him with a history paper on Simon Bolivar and for my birthday he wrapped p the three books he had Bad Things in the Night used I like this one haven t read the others but Chasteen jumps around from one country one revolutionary to another so I now and then got confused As an Asian with literally no knowledge of the Latinos land this book filled me with a colorful background of its history concisely but sometimes overly informed and comprehensively Not very well organized and difficult to follow It does have facts that appear to be correct but mostly it s presented as a series of disjointed anecdotes It is annderstatement to say it is no easy task to summarize the events resulting in independence for not just one or two parts of Latin America but the entire region The result is a valuable attempt at a basic narrative of the events from approx 1800 to 1825 that made the vast majority of the region free from direct control by its European colonizers and begin to think of government in vastly different terms Aimed at readers who probably know little about these events the book also works for anyone wishing to refresh herhis knowledge and provides many suggestions of additional reading if any part of the narrative excites youChasteen chose to write primarily in chronological order meaning he gives brief snippets of events in one location then in another and another and so on This certainly helps to put events across the region into context with each other I am not sold on this as the best method to tell the history One reason for this is Chasteen does not always make clear how events in one location affects those in another if they did at all except for how events in Europe affected those in Latin America The movements in each region are sometimes vastly different and except for timing it is not easy to Vivid scene John Charles Chasteen introduces the reader to lead players basic concepts key events and dominant trends braided together in a single taut narrative He vividly depicts the individuals and events.

Americanos was a really really frustrating though interesting read Dry at times compelling at others the book swung from one branch to another on the tree of the reader s opinions It zoomed from one topic to the next and back again giving me some amount of trouble with the continuity However it was definitely an interesting topic which made it worth the long literary trek Honestly I feel that there isn t much to say The book was dry but somehow interesting the information could have been presented in a way that wasn t so boring but it is an academic text and it isn t made to entertain students but to teach them I did learn about the independence struggles in Latin America as well as a little of the reuired background I was surprised that no one had predicted the revolutionary spirit that overtook most of Latin America for example Humboldt when visiting in his great travels later said he had no idea that there would be such Diana (Sunfire, unrest in the country to trigger a revolution Facts like that were interesting because though I knew a little about the revolutions before I read the book I learned a lot about some of the smaller parts of what happened in that time period I learned a lot from the book I thought it was interesting enough that it madep for the dryness in the actual text and I would probably read it again if I wanted to brush p on the subject It s actually by Enriue Krauze one of Mexico s leading journalists Chasteen is the translator Best book imaginable about the independence movements in New Spain at the beginning of the 19th century I read this for a graduate history course Brain Food Hearty SaladScandal Level nihlViolence historical descriptions of revolts and revolutionsMust be old to read 16Read if you liked The Ugly SuitorRe readability maybeThoughts A fascinating and well written survey of the revolutions in Latin America Interesting and something I did not known much about A premier volume in Oxford's Pivotal Moments in World History series Americanos offers an engagingly written compact history of the Latin American wars of independence Proceeding almost cinematically scene by.

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Lways conclude how they are related if at all The method also makes it difficult to follow the named persons of each narrative and gosh are there a lot of them He provides a helpful listing of the names and some pictures at the beginning of the book but the minute details he sometimes goes into and including persons that only appear for a page or two in the entire book or once every 15 pages makes it extremely difficult to followWhen Chasteen moves away from the narrative he is at his best His explanation of the movements in terms of the PR campaign of Americanos how that worked during the movements and then lost its power afterwards and explanation of the connections of it to the ideas of republicanism and popular sovereignty explain a lot when it comes to how and why the independence movements happened failed and then worked Balancing the Americanos with the arguments and actions of those who did not want independence especially once the Spanish begin sending armies would have provided a complete pictureOne item I found perplexing I agree independence was a surprise and those who led it were a minority group in their regions But once things began republicanists and patriots and educated ones seem to appear everywhere as do the at the time radical ideas of revolution and they organize ickly and well Just how this happened and the seemingly preexistence of these organizationsideaspeople is not fully explained Do not judge this book by the overly academic prologue It actually gets off to a great start with an account of Humboldt s adventures in the Americas And a great job of setting p the cause of these simultaneous revolutions But the format of telling it chronologically and in multiple locations just wore me out Here we have Hidalgo s and Morelos s battles in Mexico Meanwhile Bolivar is in Venezuela Oh and over in Buenos Aires I wanted to love it but after two thirds I couldn t go furthe. Of those tumultuous years capturing the gathering forces for independence the clashes of troops and decisions of leaders and the rich elaborate tapestry of Latin American societies as they embraced nationhoo.