Rethinking the Left in 20th-Century Latin America

AHA Session 309
Conference on Latin American History 67
Sunday, January 7, 2018: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Delaware Suite A (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
Kevin Young, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Margaret M. Power, Illinois Institute of Technology

Session Abstract

The twentieth-century Latin American left is often dismissed as authoritarian, class-reductionist, and quixotically naïve in its reading of Latin American realities. Yet it was much more complex than such accounts imply. Many revolutionaries combined analysis of class relations with incisive attacks on ethnic, gender, and other oppressions while seeking to build more democratic organizations, coalitions, and societies. And while usually internationalist in orientation, many leftists tried to adapt ideology to their particular national contexts. Furthermore, the left was not static, and was not shaped by its formal leadership alone. By highlighting the human decisions and actions at the heart of these processes in Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, this roundtable will contribute to a new social history of the Latin American left.
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