The Soul of Latin America by Mr. Howard J. Wiarda
The Cultural and Political Tradition

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To understand Latin America's political culture, and to understand why it differs so greatly from that of the United States, one must look beyond the political history of the region, Howard J. Wiarda explains in this comprehensive book. A highly respected expert on Latin American polities, Wiarda explores a sweeping array of Iberian and Latin American social, economic, institutional, cultural, and religious factors from ancient times to the twentieth century. He illuminates the distinctive political attitudes and traditions of Latin America as well as the unique - and not widely understood - features of present-day Latin American models of democracy. While Ibero-American and Western liberal traditions draw from the same classical thinkers, they often emphasize different ideas and reach different conclusions, Wiarda contends. He traces the influences of Rome, Islam, medieval Christianity, the Reconquest, and Iberian feudalism, and the powerful but largely unacknowledged effects of the Counter-Reformation on Iberian and Latin American civilizations. The author concludes with a discussion of recent changes in political culture and an assessment of the strength of democracy's hold in the nations of Latin America.

About Mr. Howard J. Wiarda

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Howard J. Wiarda is Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, Professor of National Security Studies at the National Defense University, and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. A former visiting professor at MIT and George Washington University and research associate at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard; he has also been the Director of Latin American studies at the American Enterprise Institute and is the author of numerous books, including "Latin American Politics and Development, Foreign Policy Without Illusion", and "The Democratic Revolution in Latin America".
Published April 1, 2001 by Yale University Press. 432 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Wiarda's scope, to say the least, is wide: he covers a broad range of Iberian and Latin American history in a rather compact text, swiftly and with a surprising and impressive amount of detail.

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Project MUSE

As a political scientist, he believes that Latin America's political ideas and culture find their fullest dimension within a broader vision of culture.

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Project MUSE

His argument is that Latin America, like its colonizers, missed both the Reformation (instead they got the retrogressive Counter-Reformation) and the Industrial Revolution, which left them lagging behind (neither democratic nor capitalistic) the modernizing nations in North Europe and the United ...

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