New Books by Latin Americanist Faculty
Posted: October 26, 2007
Four LLILAS-affiliated faculty members have published new books in 2007: Arturo Arias (Spanish and Portuguese), Kenneth Greene (Government), Samuel Wilson (Anthropology), and John W. F. Dulles (American Studies).
Arias is author of Taking Their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America (University of Minnesota Press), which examines why the cultural production of Central Americans remains little known to North Americans despite Central Americans’ being one of the largest Latin American population groups in the United States. He looks at the literature of Central America’s liberation struggles in the 1970s and 1980s, how the signing of peace treaties transformed it, the effects of the emergence of a new Maya literature, and the rise and fall of testimonio.
Greene, author of Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico's Democratization in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press), shows how dominant parties maintain power by turning public resources into patronage goods to bias electoral competition in their favor, without having to resort to electoral fraud or strong-arm repression. Opposition parties, he argues, fail because their lack of comparable resources forces them to form as niche parties that are out of step with average voters. Using this model, Greene shows how Mexico transformed from a dominant-party authoritarian regime under the PRI to a competitive democracy.
In The Archaeology of the Caribbean (Cambridge University Press), Samuel Wilson provides a comprehensive synthesis of Caribbean prehistory dating from the earliest human settlements more than 4000 years BC to the European conquest of the islands in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. Examining the evidence for migration and cultural change across the islands, he deals particularly with periods of cultural interaction when groups of various cultures and histories were in contact.
John W. F. Dulles, in Resisting Brazil's Military Regime: An Account of the Battles of Sobral Pinto (University of Texas Press), completes his two-volume biography of the most unflagging opponent of the regime of dictator Getúlio Vargas, which ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. Dulles uses Sobral Pinto's extensive correspondence to offer a detailed account of the crusader’s opposition to the regime. In describing how he defended those who had been politically influential prior to the 1964 takeover and other victims of the regime, he provides new insights into this important period in recent Brazilian history and Sobral Pinto’s tireless defense of human rights.