This narrative history of Latin America surveys five centuries in less than five hundred pages. The first third of the book moves from the Americas before Columbus to the wars for independence in the early nineteenth century. The construction of new nations and peoples in the nineteenth century forms the middle third, and the final section analyzes economic development, rising political participation, and the search of identity over the last century. The collision of peoples and cultures--Native Americans, Europeans, Africans--that defines Latin America, and gives it both its unity and diversity, provides the central theme of this concise, synthetic history.
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