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Democracy in Latin America, 1760-1900


Forment, Carlos A. Democracy in Latin America, 1760-1900: Volume 1, Civic Selfhood and Public Life in Mexico and Peru. 488 p., 9 maps, 19 figures, 11 tables. 2003 Series: (MS) Morality and Society Series Cloth $35.00sp 0-226-25715-0 Spring 2003

  • "An entirely original book. Based on a staggering amount of research, it breaks new ground in its analysis and provides a welcome new perspective on the political history of Mexico and Peru. This is a foundational work of scholarship."
    Frank Safford, Northwestern University, Department of History
  • "Carlos Forment probably knows more than anyone in the world about associational life in nineteenth-century Latin America. In this tirelessly researched and densely argued volume, he provides a batter explanation than any I have read of why vibrant civil societies did not produce strong or stable democratic states."
    Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study. School of Social Science
  • "This is a book about the growth of democracy in Latin America that upsets our traditional understandings of both Latin America and the roots and sources of democracy. These two upsets have to happen together, because, as Forment surmises, we can only really comprehend what has gone on in Latin America if we free ourselves from the theoretical frames that have been developed for theNorth Atlantic world and then too hastily universalized. Forment here portrays to us a kind of democratic life that flourished in civil society by turning its back on the state, which has been and remains too easily captured by authoritarian forms of rule; democracy in Latin America, he argues, has been strongest as a kind of anti-politics. With a sensitive ear, then, to the particular terms and images of this important region, Forment opens new ground by breaking the thrall of illicit generalization; this interesting book sets out in search of an adequate language to understand without distortion the postcolonial life of Latin America."
    Charles Taylor, McGill University, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy

  • "Carlos Forment's magisterial study establishes the distinctness of Latin American democracy -robust in daily life but weakly institutionalized, ethnically fragmented and Catholic rather than republican. This is political sociology at its classical best- wide ranging, erudite, deeply attentive to historical detail and, at the same time, comparative and synthesizing in its theoretical conclusions. A major contribution to the new literature on democracy around the world.
    Partha Chatterjee, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences

    Dr. Carlos Forment
    Centro de Investigacion y Documentacion de la Vida Publica
    O'Higgins 3350
    C1429BBL Buenos Aires
    +(54-11) 4702-8893