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Blood of the Earth

Conflicts over subterranean resources, particularly tin, oil, and natural gas, have driven Bolivian politics for nearly a century. "Resource nationalism"-the conviction that resource wealth should be used for the benefit of the "nation"-has often united otherwise disparate groups, including mineworkers, urban workers, students, war veterans, and middle-class professionals, and propelled an indigenous union leader, Evo Morales, into the presidency in 2006. Blood of the Earth reexamines the Bolivian mobilization around resource nationalism that began in the 1920s, crystallized with the 1952 revolution, and continues into the twenty-first century. Drawing on a wide array of Bolivian and US sources, Kevin A. Young reveals that Bolivia became a key site in a global battle among economic models, with grassroots coalitions demanding nationalist and egalitarian alternatives to market capitalism. While US-supported moderates within the revolutionary regime were able to defeat more radical forces, Young shows how the political culture of resource nationalism, though often comprising contradictory elements, constrained government actions and galvanized mobilizations against neoliberalism in later decades. His transnational and multilevel approach to the 1952 revolution illuminates the struggles among Bolivian popular sectors, government officials, and foreign powers, as well as the competing currents and visions within Bolivia's popular political cultures. Offering a fresh appraisal of the Bolivian Revolution, resource nationalism, and the Cold War in Latin America, Blood of the Earth is an ideal case study for understanding the challenges shared by countries across the Global South.
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"A very important contribution for experts and non-experts alike. Young's argument is a new, fresh way of looking at both Bolivian revolutionary thought and recent Bolivian history. No one else that I know of has focused on 'resource nationalism,' which Young argues persuasively is key to understanding Bolivia in the twentieth century and beyond." -- James Siekmeier, West Virginia University, author of The Bolivian Revolution and the United States, 1952 to the Present "'Resource nationalism' is a very suggestive concept that can be applied to other countries in Latin America (and probably other parts of the world, such as Africa) very productively to understand domestic politics in relation to the great powers, such as the United States." -- Erick D. Langer, Georgetown University, author of Expecting Pears from an Elm Tree: Franciscan Missions on the Chiriguano Frontier in the Heart of South America

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Introduction: Natural Resources, Economic Visions, and US Intervention in Twentieth-Century Bolivia 1. The Road to Resource Nationalism: Economic Ideas and Popular Coalitions in La Paz, 1927-1952 2. A New Type of Bolivian Economy: Competing Visions, 1952-1956 3. The Political Economy of Containment: Privatization, Austerity, and the MNR's Shift to the Right, 1955-1964 4. The Battle for Men's Minds: Economic Paradigms, Propaganda, and the Iconography of Revolution 5. The Limits of Containment: Anti-Austerity and Resource Nationalism in La Paz Factories 6. Oil and Nation: The Crusade to Save Bolivia's Hydrocarbons Epilogue: Resource Nationalism and Popular Struggle in the Twenty-First Century Appendix: Professional Backgrounds of Key Middle-Class Participants in Economic Debates, 1940s-1960s Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Kevin A. Young is an assistant professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.



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