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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
> 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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