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Andrew Stewart wrote

Begin forwarded message:

> From: H-Net Staff <revh...@mail.h-net.msu.edu>
> Date: October 10, 2018 at 1:17:41 PM EDT
> To: h-rev...@lists.h-net.org
> Subject: H-Net Review [H-LatAm]: Schaefer on Sabato, 'Republics of the New World: The Revolutionary Political Experiment in Nineteenth-Century Latin America'
> Reply-To: H-Net Staff <revh...@mail.h-net.msu.edu>
> Hilda Sabato. Republics of the New World: The Revolutionary
> Political Experiment in Nineteenth-Century Latin America. Princeton
> Princeton University Press, 2018. 240 pp. $29.95 (cloth), ISBN
> 978-0-691-16144-0.
> Reviewed by Timo Schaefer

If the reviewer is comprehensive, what appears to me to be most significantly lacking is a detailed analysis of the economic underpinnings of all these political and social developments. In his critique at the end of the article Schaefer writes,

"A more complete explanation for the rise of the fin-de-siècle oligarchies would have to explore the history of a dimension of politics that is strangely absent from _Republics of the New World_: it would have to explore the political and ideological content of elections, uprisings, and popular mobilizations. For in this book about nineteenth-century political conflict, ideologies like liberalism and conservatism, and issues like taxation, land privatization, or the relationship between church and state, receive at best cursory glosses. In a political history of the century of the abolition of slavery, the abolition of slavery merits barely a mention. It is a curious omission because these topics were so closely and obviously involved in the political practices--elections, armed citizenship, public opinion--that are Sabato's subjects. Can we really understand why governments turned against the civic militias without exploring the militias' ideological orientations? Can we understand public opinion in fin-de-siècle Latin America without knowing the political content of newspapers that were censored, or of those that were subsidized by the state?"

This sounds like needed criticism ("a more complete explanation" is needed to be sure), but more especially what of the formation of those various oligarchies, what was the relationship, in the nineteenth century period studied, between the oligarchs, the urban bourgeoisie and the centers of capital in the US, Europe, and in other Latin American States? How did conflict and controversy in these various economic contexts play a role? How did the urban regions form, and what was their relationship to a nascent bourgeoisie, and foreign capital, and between each of these and the farmers and peasants, indentured immigrants and slaves? How did that bourgeoisie interact with the landowning secular and ecclesiastic rulers? And how does all that affect developments in Latin America as they have evolved up until the present time? This book by Sabato is a publication of Princeton University Press, of course, and I'm describing a Marxist rather than a liberal analysis, which from appearances it is not at all. Same with the reviewby Timo Schaefer (Independent Scholar). This is the usual treatment of liberal forms of relationship to government. Isn't the student of Latin America entitled to more than that? Otherwise, many will go from classrooms into scholastic and policy-making careers that repeat the same old cruel illusions - revised and updated. But then, the book I describe will have no place in a Princeton classroom.


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