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A Revolution for Our Rights


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Analyzes struggles over citizenship and nationhood in Bolivia.

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
1. The Peculiar Paths of the Liberal Project 17
2. Indigenista Statecraft and the Rise of the Caciques Apoderados 43
3. "In Our Provinces There Is No Justice": Caciques Apoderados and the Crisis of the Liberal Project 69
4. The Problem of National Unity: From the Chaco War to the 1938 Constitutional Convention 101
5. The Unruly Countryside: Defending Land, Labor Rights, and Autonomy 131
6. The Unwilling City: Villarroel Populism and the Politics of Mestizaje 164
7. "The Disgrace of the Pongo and the Mitani": The 1945 Indigenous Congress and a Law against Servitude 192
8. "Under the Dominion of the Indian": The 1947 Cycle of Unrest 233
Conclusion and Epilogue: Rethinking the Rural Roots of the 1952 Revolution 268
Notes 291
Bibliography 359
Index 385

About the Author

Laura Gotkowitz is Associate Professor of History at the University of Iowa.


"An innovative, eloquent, and deeply researched history that locates indigenous subjects at the very center of Bolivia's prolonged struggle for internal decolonization and democracy in the tumultuous half-century leading up to the 1952 Revolution. The book's fascinating, fine-grained explorations of the radical implications (and grotesque realities) of citizenship and social justice for Bolivia's Quechua and Aymara communities is a profound--and timely--contribution to our understanding of how indigenous politics and social movements can sometimes change the course of history."--Brooke Larson, author of Trials of Nation Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810-1910 "This is a most impressive work of history--deeply grounded in archival and primary sources, clearly and beautifully written, and sharply perceptive of the subtleties as well as the extremities that so characterize Andean life. The book will become a required resource for understanding not only the Bolivian Revolution of 1952 but also the social movements of the contemporary period, in which the role of Cochabamba is still poorly understood."--James Dunkerley, author of Bolivia: Revolution and the Power of History in the Present "A Revolution for Our Rights is a major contribution to studies of Andean history and anthropology and to studies of indigenous and popular politics in Latin America as a whole. In this exciting and powerful study, Laura Gotkowitz illuminates modern Indian political engagements in what is today the most indigenous country in the Americas."--Sinclair Thomson, author of We Alone Will Rule: Native Andean Politics in the Age of Insurgency

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