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When it comes to history and the "discovery" of America, Tony Horwitz is a dummy
and he is betting that his readers are as well. During a visit to Plymouth Rock,
Horwitz discovers, much to his priate school educated chagrin, that he knew next to
nothing about the people who traveled the continent (before and after Columbus),
much less the folks who inhabited "America" before European contact commenced.
Horwitz writes a well-paced and humorous travelogue of self-tutoring as he sweats it
out in a lodge with MicMacs in Newfoundland, follows Coronado's trail all the way to
Kansas (who knew?) and tours present-day Roanoke which was briefly settled, not by
fantasized Pilgrim forebears, but by a, "... motley crew of slave traders, tourists,
castaways and Tudor knights...." Horwitz neatly balances historical narrative with
his own present-day travel stories for an engaging and entertaining history
Traditional, though still very useful, history of this important western
Venezuelan state. The approach is chronological, and each volume includes
interesting and useful transcriptions of primary documents, without, however,
providing information about their sources.
If you are interested in a compelling and easy-to-read overview of the history of
Latin America, this is the book for you. Instead of trying to relate the events that
took place throughout Latin America over five centuries, Chasteen looks at larger
themes and movements shared by countries throughout Latin America. These themes
include the first indigenous encounters with Spaniards, colonialism, independence,
neocolonialism (America’s policy of influencing Latin America), national movements,
and neoliberalism, among others. Each chapter is broken into a theme, and Chasteen
effectively demonstrates how that theme affected and directed the energies of
countries throughout the hemisphere. The book is enjoyable to read, and perfect if
you need to know the high points of Latin American history but would also like a
more in-depth insight into its complexities. If you are traveling in Latin America,
doing business there, interested in the relationship between the U.S. and Latin
America, or just interested in history, this is the book for you.
Page viewed: February 1, 2015 | Page last reviewed: February 1, 2015 |