This thoughtful text describes how Latin America's authoritarian
culture has been and continues to be reflected in a variety of
governments, from the near-anarchy of the early regional bosses
(caudillos), to all-powerful personalistic dictators or oligarchic
machines, to contemporary mass-movement regimes like Castro's Cuba
or Peron's Argentina. Taking a student-friendly chronological
approach, Paul Lewis also analyzes how the internal dynamics of
each historical phase of the region's development led to the next.
He describes how dominant ideologies of the period were used to
shape, and justify, each regime's power structure. Balanced yet
pessimistic about the future of democracy in the region, this
accessible text will be invaluable for courses on contemporary
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