Friday, October 21, 2005

Review Article on Recent Books about Hugo Chávez

Citation for the review:

Guillermoprieto, Alma. "Don't Cry for Me, Venezuela." The New York Review of Books. 52.15 (October 6, 2005): 26-29.

This is a review of four recent books on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Two of the books discussed are in Spanish. The article provides a good and brief overview of the Venezuelan leader, and it can be a starting point for anyone wanting to get a quick briefing about the man. Readers can also learn a little about recent Venezuelan history and politics. Chávez is presented as a man of contradictions: sometimes capitalist, other times seeing capitalism as "el demonio" (the demon), as welcoming private investment, but leaving little room for opposition (28). Yet Chávez has launched large social and educational programs while enjoying very high approval in his country. For readers in the United States, regardless of their politics, it may be wise to remember that the U.S. does import about 15% of its oil from Venezuela, so it may be wise to learn a little about the country and its leader. Since I do selection for books in Spanish, I will be ordering the two books, and passing a note to the history and political science specialist to consider the other two. If and when I look them over, readers can find notes on the books here as well.

Update note: (10/22/05): I just realized it may help if I put the information for the books the article mentions, so here goes. The information is as the article provided it:

Aleida Guevara. Chávez: Un Hombre Que Anda Por Ahí: Una Entrevista con Hugo Chávez, published by Ocean Press.

Cristina Marcano and Alberto Barrera Tyszka. Hugo Chávez Sin Uniforme: Una Historia Personal, published by Random House Mondadori (Caracas).

Richard Gott. Hugo Chávez: The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

Colette Caprile. La Revolución Como Espéctaculo, published by Random House Mondadori (Caracas).

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