The Bolivia Reader

History, Culture, Politics

Book Pages: 744 Illustrations: 87 illustrations, incl. 10 in Published: June 2018

General Interest > Travel, History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Andes

The Bolivia Reader provides a panoramic view, from antiquity to the present, of the history, culture, and politics of a country known for its ethnic and regional diversity, its rich natural resources and dilemmas of economic development, and its political conflict and creativity. Featuring both classic and little-known texts ranging from fiction, memoir, and poetry to government documents, journalism, and political speeches, the volume challenges stereotypes of Bolivia as a backward nation while offering insights into the country's history of mineral extraction, revolution, labor organizing, indigenous peoples' movements, and much more. Whether documenting Inka rule or Spanish conquest, three centuries at the center of Spanish empire, or the turbulent politics and cultural vibrancy of the national period, these sources—the majority of which appear in English for the first time—foreground the voices of actors from many different walks of life. Unprecedented in scope, The Bolivia Reader illustrates the historical depth and contemporary challenges of Bolivia in all their complexity.


“English-speaking audiences now have a rich resource for in-depth study of Bolivia. It is the perfect book for courses on Andean history and Latin America, as well as hemispheric courses on power, culture, politics, and economy in the Americas. Overall, this book is indispensable for university and college libraries. To put it simply, there is no comparable volume.”

— Jane Mangan, The Americas

“The field of Bolivian studies has expanded rapidly in the past two decades. . . . Yet, until now, no single book had offered a compelling and comprehensive overview of the forces that have shaped the country into the twenty-first century. The Bolivia Reader performs this difficult task splendidly.”

— Kevin A. Young, The Historian

The Bolivia Reader is a quite remarkable scholarly and editorial achievement. Its approach of providing us with direct access to scores of primary sources constitutes a unique ‘document of documents’ through which to engage with the country and its past. The editors have selected an exceptionally rich range of perspectives from before the Spanish conquest to the era of Evo Morales, from right and left, elite and popular, society and politics, literature and art. Their magisterial commentaries will assist all—newcomer and specialist alike—through the spellbinding Bolivian experience. Yet we, the readers of The Bolivia Reader, are always left free to form our own opinions.” — James Dunkerley, author of Rebellion in the Veins: Political Struggle in Bolivia, 1952–1982

“With The Bolivia Reader as guide, the reader sets off on a fascinating journey through five hundred tumultuous years of history. The Reader offers a dazzling kaleidoscope of voices, perspectives, visual images, and textual genres. It throws new light on the country’s remote historical landscapes, unresolved social tensions, suppressed histories and memories, and inextinguishable indigenous cultures. More than an introductory volume, The Bolivia Reader contains documentary riches and insightful essays that promise to make it an indispensable book for scholars, travelers, and students.” — Brooke Larson, author of Trials of Nation Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810–1910


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Price: $34.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Sinclair Thomson is Associate Professor of History at New York University.

Rossana Barragán is Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History in the Netherlands.

Xavier Albó is a Jesuit priest and independent scholar.

Seemin Qayum is an independent scholar.

Mark Goodale is Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Lausanne.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xix
Introduction  1
I. First Peoples and the Making of Andean and Amazonian Space  13
II. States and Conquests in the Andes  45
III. The Rich Mountain  71
IV. From Indian Insurgency to Creole Independence  115
V. Market Circuits and Enclave Extraction  161
VI. The Nation and Political Fragmentation  207
VII. The Nationalization of Natural Resources  257
VIII. Revolutionary Currents  323
IX. Dictatorship and Democracy  407
X. Neoliberalism and Lowland Ascendency  503
XI. Competing Projects for the Future  541
XII. Pachakuti?  623
Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing  679
Acknowledgment of Copyright and Sources  687
Index  699
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-7152-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-7135-9
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