Latin American Wonders and Problems

As a Latin American person, Modern Latin America was a book that instantly caught my eye.  This book offers a picture of Latin American society, not just random facts. The authors, Thomas E. Skidmore, Peter H. Smith, and James N. Green did a superb job in tracing back patterns and trends to understand the complexities and variations in Latin American countries and their possible futures. A part from devoting various chapters to all countries in the region, the authors talk about politics and policy, economic growth, and social change.

As reading bits and pieces of each chapter, especially Ch.6 that is devoted to the history and socioeconomics problems of my country: Ecuador, the book contains very detailed information of the region. Having been greatly influenced by the Spanish and Portuguese, the authors take all into consideration when analyzing the countries issues. They go back in history, analyzing how the Inca, Aztec and Mayan empires influenced society following the period when the conquistadores arrived. Furthermore, the analyze most political leaders in each country, the social changes, and their very unpredictable economy.

It is very interesting and ratifying to see that people are studying Latin America. Although some people might not know, the region is full of natural resources including bananas, coffee, and petroleum. The United States imports a lot of products from the region and I think it is extremely important to take the time to study and elaborate the future of these countries. I was fascinated by some of the passages that I read and pleased that my culture is being exposed in the world. Although we are part of the same continent, there are many cultural differences between American and Latin cultures. The book discusses all the political and social structures in a detailed fashion, allowing students to get a clear picture of Latin America and its relation to the United States and the global economy.

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3 Responses

  1. Always tag your post! Great hyperlinks. How is the wiki article on Ecuador?

  2. Latin America really clarifies that it is the internal variation within countries or societies that is as important as variation across countries. For example, much of Latin America shares a similar history of colonization, 19th century liberal revolutions, and prolonged periods of military and/or corrupt leadership. So they seem somewhat similar. However, the internal differences within each country are often vast. In short, I don’t find analysis of nations as discrete entities all that useful.

    How do people in Ecuador view the US? I have to say, I know little of US involvement in Ecuador. Are there negative feelings form Banana companies or other periods of US intervention?

    • I feel like there are mixed feelings in Ecuador about the USA. I can say that we are greatly influenced by minute aspects of American culture such as music, movies, malls, among others. Some people greatly dislike the US and think they are only there to take advantage of our resources. However, there are others that idolize the country and wish to be part of it. I personally think that Ecuador is in trouble because we do not have leaders in our country. They do negotiations with American companies that only benefits them, not the society as a whole.

      I don’t understand what you mean by discrete entities and that the analysis is not useful.

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