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Foundations of Despotism
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Winner of the 2003 John Edwin Fagg Prize for Best Publication in the History of Latin America, given by the American Historical Association Named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice in 2003 This book explores the history of the Dominican Republic as it evolved from the first European colony in the Americas into a modern nation under the rule of Rafael Trujillo. It investigates the social foundations of Trujillo's exceptionally enduring and brutal dictatorship (1930-1961) and, more broadly, the way power is sustained in such non-democratic regimes. "One of the best works ever done on the Dominican Republic, this wonderful book goes a long way toward explaining not only the long-lived Trujillo dictatorship but subsequent Dominican social and political history as well. It is also a powerful critique of the simplistic demonizing of the Caribbean dictatorial model of politics attached to strongmen like Trujillo, Somoza, and Duvalier." - Lowell Gudmundson, Mount Holyoke College
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About the Author

Richard Lee Turits is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Reviews

"One of the best works ever done on the Dominican Republic, this wonderful book goes a long way toward explaining not only the long-lived Trujillo dictatorship but subsequent Dominican social and political history as well. It is also a powerful critique of the simplistic demonizing of the Caribbean dictatorial model of politics attached to strongmen like Trujillo, Somoza, and Duvalier." - Lowell Gudmundson, Mount Holyoke College "...It becomes clear that Foundations of Despotism is indeed a sophisticated, scholarly antidote to many of the works on the Trujillo regime that have come out in the past four decades..." - Canadian Journal of History "[T]his is an elegantly written, extensively documented, and superbly argued work. Turits combines traditional, archival work with innovative forms of oral history, and no doubt it will stand the test of time as a fundamental text in the historiography of the Caribbean." - The Americas "Turits has given us a solid and original contribution to the vast literature on Rafael Leonidas Trujillo as well as a splendid contribution to the growing literature on peasants, modernization, and social change." - Canadian Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Studies

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