Latin American Revolutions: Causes, Consequences, Myths and Memories

History 103E.002

Fall 2013
Day & Time: 
W 10-12P

This course will examine the causes, consequences, and legacies of Latin America’s major revolutions of the twentieth century. It will focus on the violent social revolutions of Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, as well as equally important experiments in social change in Guatemala, Chile, and contemporary Venezuela. We will use scholarship from history and political science to put these revolutions in comparative perspective, and use more personal reflections made through memoirs and film to examine their effects on people who experienced them.  We will try to understand what why these revolutions occurred, what they changed in the societies that experienced them, and in what ways they satisfied and disappointed those who fought for change.

Patrick Iber completed his dissertation on the subject of the cultural Cold War in Latin America at the University of Chicago in 2011, and spent the last two years as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University, where he taught Latin American history.  His interests include the politics of culture, imperialism, and the history of global social democracy.


Course Books

Blood of Brothers: LIfe and War in Nicaragua by Kinzer, Stephen David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. ISBN: 978-0674025936 Required
We Created Chávez: A People's History of the Venezuelan Revolution by Cicchariello-Maher, George Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0822354529 Required
The Country Under my Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Belli, Gioconda Anchor. ISBN: 978-1400032167 Required
Weavers of Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile's Road to Socialism by Winn, Peter Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0195045581 Required
Before Night Falls: A Memoir by Arenas, Reynaldo Penguin. ISBN: 978-0140157659 Required
A History of the Cuban Revolution by Chomsky, Aviva Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-1405187732 Required
Secret History: The CIA's Classified Account of its Operations in Guatemala 1952-1954 by Cullather, Nick Stanford University Press. ISBN: 978-0804754682 Required
Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Schlesinger, Stephen and Stephen Kinzer David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. ISBN: 978-0674019300 Required
Mexico's Once and Future Revolution: Social Upheaval and the Challenge of Rule in the Late Nineteenth Century by Joseph, Gil and Jurgen Buchenau Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0822355328 Required
Zapata and the Mexican Revolution by Womack, John Vintage. ISBN: 978-0394708539 Required
Blogging the Revolution: Caracas Chronicles and the Hugo Chávez Era by Toro, Francisco and Juan Cristobal Nagel Cognitio. ISBN: 978-1939393159 Optional