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"Between Legitimacy and Violence" is an authoritative, sweeping history of Colombia's 'long twentieth century', from the tumultuous civil wars of the late nineteenth century to the drug wars of the late twentieth. Marco Palacios, a leading Latin American historian, skilfully blends political, economic, social, and cultural history. In an expansive chronological narrative full of vivid detail, he explains Colombia's political history, discussing key leaders, laws, parties, and ideologies; corruption and inefficiency; and, the paradoxical nature of government institutions, which while stable and enduring are unable to prevent frequent and extreme outbursts of violence.Palacios traces the trajectory of the economy, addressing agriculture (particularly the economic significance of coffee), the development of a communication and transportation infrastructure, industrialization, and labour struggles. Palacios also gives extensive attention to persistent social inequalities, the role of the Catholic Church, demographic shifts such as urbanization and emigration, and Colombia's relationship with the United States. Offering a comparative perspective, he frequently contrasts Colombia with other Latin American nations. Throughout Palacios offers a helpful interpretive framework, connecting developments with their causes and consequences. By thoroughly illuminating Colombia's past, "Between Legitimacy and Violence" sheds much-needed light on the country's violent present.
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An authoritative, sweeping history of Colombia's "long twentieth century," from the tumultuous civil wars of the late nineteenth century to the drug wars of the late twentieth, by a leading Latin American historian.

Table of Contents

Tables viii Acknowledgments ix Prologue to the Second Colombian Edition xi 1. From Liberal Decay to Regeneration 1 2. Liberal Economics, Conservative Politics 48 3. From the Expansion of Citizenship to the Plutocratic Elite 93 4. In the Shadow of the Violencia 135 5. An Elusive Legitimacy 170 6. Great Transformations within Continuity 214 Epilogue 246 Bibliographical Essay 269 Index 293

About the Author

Marco Palacios is Professor of Latin American History at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. He is the author of numerous books in Spanish as well as Coffee in Colombia, 1850-1970: An Economic, Social, and Political History. He is a coauthor of Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society.Richard Stoller is Coordinator of Selection and International Programs in Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University. He has a Ph.D. in Latin American studies.


from reviews of the Spanish edition: "Coverage is admirably comprehensive, with a very good balance between social and economic trends and political events, plus side glances at intellectual and cultural history... Even a complete novice will profit from the reading and will come away with a grasp of the main storylines... Palacios has ably exposed the historical roots of current problems." David Bushnell, Hispanic American Historical Review "Marco Palacios's comprehensive, skilled narration of Colombia's turbulent, 'long twentieth century' is the best one-volume history of that country we have. There is nothing else available in English that provides even a shadow of the complexity and completeness of Palacios's book."--Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, author of Dulcinea in the Factory: Myths, Morals, Men, and Women in Colombia's Industrial Experiment, 1905-1960

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