Latin America at 200

9781477308271: Hardback
Release Date: 26th April 2016

9781477308677: Paperback
Release Date: 26th April 2016

85 b&w photos

Dimensions: 178 x 254

Number of Pages: 384

Series Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture

University of Texas Press

Latin America at 200

A New Introduction

Hardback / £77.00
Paperback / £34.00

Between 2010 and 2025, most of the countries of Latin America will commemorate two centuries of independence, and Latin Americans have much to celebrate at this milestone. Most countries have enjoyed periods of sustained growth, while inequality is showing modest declines and the middle class is expanding. Dictatorships have been left behind, and all major political actors seem to have accepted the democratic process and the rule of law. Latin Americans have entered the digital world, routinely using the Internet and social media.

These new realities in Latin America call for a new introduction to its history and culture, which Latin America at 200 amply provides. Taking a reader-friendly approach that focuses on the big picture and uses concrete examples, Phillip Berryman highlights what Latin Americans are doing to overcome extreme poverty and underdevelopment. He starts with issues facing cities, then considers agriculture and farming, business, the environment, inequality and class, race and ethnicity, gender, and religion. His survey of Latin American history leads into current issues in economics, politics and governance, and globalization. Berryman also acknowledges the ongoing challenges facing Latin Americans, especially crime and corruption, and the efforts being made to combat them. Based on decades of experience, research, and travel, as well as recent studies from the World Bank and other agencies, Latin America at 200 will be essential both as a classroom text and as an introduction for general readers.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction. Entering a Third Century
  • Part I. Society
    • Chapter 1. Lands and Peoples: The Constraints and Opportunities of Geography and Demography
    • Chapter 2. Confronting Urban Challenges
    • Chapter 3. Agriculture in Transition: Food and Farmers
    • Chapter 4. Corner Stores and Multilatinas: Business, Industry, and Labor in a Globalized World
    • Chapter 5. Growth with Sustainability: Meeting the New Environmental Challenge
    • Chapter 6. Highly Unequal—and Middle Class?
    • Chapter 7. Overcoming Legacies of Conquest and Slavery: Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendants
    • Chapter 8. Machismo Contested: Changing Gender Roles and Expectations
    • Chapter 9. A Changing Religious Landscape
  • Part II. History
    • Chapter 10. Conquest and Colonial Order
    • Chapter 11. Forging New Nations
    • Chapter 12. The Zigzag Path to Democracy and Development
  • Part III. Economic and Political Challenges of the Present
    • Chapter 13. Toward Twenty-First-Century Economies
    • Chapter 14. Making Democracy Work: Politics and the State
    • Chapter 15. Toward Rule of Law: Combating Crime and Corruption
    • Chapter 16. Bodies and Minds: Achievements and Obstacles in Health and Education
    • Chapter 17. Goods and People Crossing Borders: Dimensions of Globalization
  • Conclusion. Hopes and Tasks of the Bicentennial Generation
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index

Phillip Berryman is a writer, translator, and teacher who worked in Panama and Central America for a dozen years in the 1960s and 1970s. His previous works include Liberation Theology, Stubborn Hope, and Religion in the Megacity.

"A brilliant book, by far the best of its kind on Latin America. Its emphasis on how Latin America has changed in recent decades fills a yawning gap. This book is ideal for teaching because teaching, I am certain, was its genesis. Students will love it."

John Charles Chasteen, Professor of Latin American History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America and Americanos: Latin America’s Struggle for Independence


"Phillip Berryman’s penetrating and lively book offers a kaleidoscopic perspective on Latin America as it enters its third century of independence. With something to offer both specialists and those just beginning to study the region, the book takes on the challenges of culture and globalization—from agriculture to religion to changing gender roles."

June Carolyn Erlick, editor-in-chief, ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America