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The Paraguay Reader

Hemmed in by the vast, arid Chaco to the west and, for most of its history, impenetrable jungles to the east, Paraguay has been defined largely by its isolation. Partly as a result, there has been a dearth of serious scholarship or journalism about the country. Going a long way toward redressing this lack of information and analysis, The Paraguay Reader is a lively compilation of testimonies, journalism, scholarship, political tracts, literature, and illustrations, including maps, photographs, paintings, drawings, and advertisements. Taken together, the anthology's many selections convey the country's extraordinarily rich history and cultural heritage, as well as the realities of its struggles against underdevelopment, foreign intervention, poverty, inequality, and authoritarianism. Most of the Reader is arranged chronologically. Weighted toward the twentieth century and early twenty-first, it nevertheless gives due attention to major events in Paraguay's history, such as the Triple Alliance War (1864-70) and the Chaco War (1932-35). The Reader's final section, focused on national identity and culture, addresses matters including ethnicity, language, and gender. Most of the selections are by Paraguayans, and many of the pieces appear in English for the first time. Helpful introductions by the editors precede each of the book's sections and all of the selected texts.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgments xi Introduction 1 I. The Birth of Paraguay 11 II. The Nationalist Experiment 53 III. A Slow Recovery 129 IV. From the Chaco War to the Civil War 193 V. Dictatorship and Resistance 235 VI. A Transition in Search of Democracy 321 VII. What Does It Mean to Be Paraguayan? 383 Epilogue: The Impeachment of President Fernando Lugo 451 Suggestions for Further Reading 457 Acknowledgment of Copyright and Sources 463 Index 471

Promotional Information

The Paraguay Reader is a lively compilation of testimonies, journalism, scholarship, political tracts, literature, and illustrations, including maps, photographs, paintings, drawings, and advertisements.

About the Author

Peter Lambert is a Senior Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath. He is a coeditor of Latin American Foreign Policies: Between Ideology and Pragmatism and Political Violence and the Construction of National Identity in Latin America. Andrew Nickson is the Honorary Reader in Public Management and Latin American Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of Local Government in Latin America and the Historical Dictionary of Paraguay. Lambert and Nickson are the editors of Transition to Democracy in Paraguay.


"The Paraguay Reader will become the most obvious starting point for both Latin Americanists and non-specialists wanting to learn about Paraguay, one of the least known, studied, or understood countries in South America. This anthology gives readers access, for the first time, to a well-chosen selection of texts representing the country's history, culture, and politics. The materials are impeccably organized, and the introductions are clear, informative, and thought-provoking." - Will Fowler, author of Latin America since 1780 "This book fills an enormous gap in knowledge about Paraguay and will be a standard reference on the country for many years to come."--Ticio Escobar, Minister of Culture, Paraguay, August 15, 2008, to June 22, 2012 "Many of the accounts are being made accessible in English for the first time and thus provide an invaluable resource on the subjects treated, one that has no parallel in the current literature. All of the accounts are preceded by introductions that prepare the reader for the historical significance of the piece." - Leonard Rinchiuso, Journal of Latin American Geography

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