From the Mines to the Streets

9780292743922: Paperback
Release Date: 15th May 2012

8 b&w photos, 3 maps

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 271

Series The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere

University of Texas Press

From the Mines to the Streets

A Bolivian Activist’s Life

Written by
Benjamin Kohl
Linda C. Farthing
Other primary creator
Félix Muruchi
Paperback / £20.99

From the Mines to the Streets draws on the life of Félix Muruchi to depict the greater forces at play in Bolivia and elsewhere in South America during the last half of the twentieth century. It traces Félix from his birth in an indigenous family in 1946, just after the abolition of bonded labor, through the next sixty years of Bolivia's turbulent history. As a teenager, Félix followed his father into the tin mines before serving a compulsory year in the military, during which he witnessed the 1964 coup d'état that plunged the country into eighteen years of military rule. He returned to work in the mines, where he quickly rose to become a union leader. The reward for his activism was imprisonment, torture, and exile. After he came home, he participated actively in the struggles against neoliberal governments, which led in 2006—the year of his sixtieth birthday—to the inauguration of Evo Morales as Bolivia's first indigenous president.

The authors weave Muruchi's compelling recollections with contextual commentary that elucidates Bolivian history. The combination of an unforgettable life story and in-depth text boxes makes this a gripping, effective account, destined to become a classic sourcebook.

  • List of Acronyms
  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Tiwanaku, January 21, 2006
  • Introduction to Bolivia
  • Part One: Growing Up in the Fields and the Mines
    • Chapter 1: Rural Life
    • Chapter 2: Moving to the Mines
    • Chapter 3: The Army
  • Part Two: The Mines
    • Introduction to Part Two: Life in the Nationalized Mines
    • Chapter 4: Joining the State Company
    • Chapter 5: Union Activist
    • Chapter 6: Bolivia under Banzer
  • Part Three: From Exile to Exile
    • Chapter 7: Exile in Chile: A "Guest" of Pinochet
    • Chapter 8: Exile in Holland
    • Chapter 9: Return Home
    • Chapter 10: García Meza Coup: Back to Holland
  • Part Four: Activist in El Alto
    • Introduction to Part Four: El Alto
    • Chapter 11: Life in El Alto
    • Chapter 12: Politics in El Alto
  • Appendix: Bibliographic Sources and Information on Bolivia
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

BENJAMIN KOHL is Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University. He also coauthored Impasse in Bolivia: Neoliberal Hegemony and Social Resistance with Linda Farthing.

Linda C. Farthing is a writer and educator with twenty-five years of experience in Latin America as a solidarity activist, study-abroad director, field producer for films, and journalist/independent scholar.
FÉLIX MURUCHI continues to be socially and politically active. He is co-author of Ponchos Rojos and Minero con Poder de Dinamita.

"This book should be used by a casual reader to grasp a deeper understanding of the challenges of political activism in a developing country or a broader understanding of Bolivian politics and development. Advanced readers will find this to be a useful cases study to understand how profoundly political systems can affect individual life."

Bulletin of Latin American Research

"Benjamin Kohl and Linda Farthing have . . . registered a singular achievement in providing a new, fresh, and eminently readable book that simultaneously adds to and expands the genre."

Journal of Latin American Studies