Simón Bolívar was a revolutionary who freed six countries, an intellectual who argued the principles of national liberation, and a general who fought a cruel colonial war. His life, passions, battles, and great victories became embedded in Spanish American culture almost as soon as they happened. This is the first major English-language biography of The Liberator” in half a century. John Lynch draws on extensive research on the man and his era to tell Bolívar’s story, to understand his life in the context of his own society and times, and to explore his remarkable and enduring legacy.
The book illuminates the inner world of Bolívar, the dynamics of his leadership, his power to command, and his modes of ruling the diverse peoples of Spanish America. The key to his greatness, Lynch concludes, was supreme will power and an ability to inspire people to follow him beyond their immediate interests, in some cases through years of unremitting struggle. Encompassing Bolívar’s entire life and his many accomplishments, this is the definitive account of a towering figure in the history of the Western hemisphere.
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John Lynch is emeritus professor of Latin American history and former director of the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London.From The Washington Post:
The liberator of South America learned much from his travels in Europe and a brief, early visit to the United States, argues John Lynch in Simón Bolívar: A Life (Yale Univ., $35). While living in Paris, the young Venezuelan aristocrat immersed himself in the study of the Enlightenment; while visiting the United States on his way home, he saw what he called "rational liberty at first hand." These broadening experiences gave him perspective on his colonized homeland, but he never lost sight of what was uniquely South American, including the terrain. "You will find valuable guidance in the very nature of our country," he said in an 1830 speech, "which stretches from the highlands of the Andes to the torrid banks of the Orinoco. Survey the whole extent of this land and you will learn from nature, the infallible teacher of men, what laws the congress must decree."
Ultimately, Bolívar liberated not just Venezuela but also Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, some of which he ruled as dictator -- all this accomplished in a lifespan that fell short of 50 years. As for the combination of freedom and authoritarianism, Lynch contends that critics who accuse the young rebel of compromising his beliefs as he aged have got him wrong: "The evidence shows that his principles in 1828-30 were not basically different from those he had developed from 1812 onwards, that his insistence on liberty and equality was always accompanied by a search for strong government."
The Father of His Countries
Copyright 2006, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.
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Descripción U.S.A.: Yale University Press, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition.. Language: eng Language: eng. Nº de ref. de la librería ABE-14710412802
Descripción Yale University Press, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110300110626
Descripción Yale University Press, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0300110626