Castro's Cuba is isolated; the guerrillas who once spread havoc through Uruguay and Argentina are dead, dispersed, or running for office as moderates. And in 1990, Nicaragua's Sandinistas were rejected at the polls by their own constituents. Are these symptoms of the fall of the Latin American left? Or are they merely temporary lulls in an ongoing revolution that may yet transform our hemisphere?
This perceptive and richly eventful study by one of Mexico's most distinguished political scientists tells the story behind the failed movements of the past thirty years while suggesting that the left has a continuing relevance in a continent that suffers from destitution and social inequality. Combining insider's accounts of intrigue and armed struggle with a clear-sighted analysis of the mechanisms of day-to-day power, Utopia Unarmed is an indispensable work of scholarship, reportage, and political prognosis.
Jorge G. Castañeda was born and raised in Mexico City. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Paris. He has been a professor of political science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and a visiting professor at Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley. He was Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, and is now Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies at New York University. He is a member of the board of Human Rights Watch and lives in New York and Mexico City.
"Seldom does a new book as noteworthy cross my desk .... [This is] an excellent history... a complex prescription for how the left might yet play an essential role in post-cold-war Latin America... a book that overturns stereotypes and challenges easy wisdom."
-- Nicolas Shumway, The New York Times Book Review
"Extraordinary.... [This book] attempts to do nothing less than restore direction to the Latin American left.... Surprising and refreshing." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review