[L-I] An excellent book on Chavez

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at tao.ca
Sun Feb 24 18:32:01 MST 2002

From: "Gorojovsky" <Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar>

I strongly recommend, to all those interested in the Venezuelan situation,
Richard Gott. _In the shadow of the Liberator. Hugo Chávez and the
Transformation of Venezuela_. London and New York, Verso, 2001.


I most certainly would- if the person was looking for the historical context.
Chapter after chapter was devoted to describing the tradition of liberators from
the military, a lesson people fromoutside the region seriously need to garner
for themselves so as to even begin to understand the region. Beyond this
howeever, Richard Gott is finding a way to turn about 80 pages of research into
a book through a lot of puff and anecdote. It has an impact and it gives a very
strong picture (the honest, positive one) but is very short on data. It captures
the feeling but not so much the mechanics of the Chavez vision as of the end of

I would recommend it for personal consumption to help you get closer to the
subject, but it would not have much use as a source for any research on the
situation in Venezuela. I also noted an absence of any discussion of the edict
from a couple of years back that the police were not to move on squatters.
Surely this was as important then as the land reform is now in indicating what
kind of attitude the Bolivarists are taking.

Gott is good at dancing on top of the subject, but not so much inside it.


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