The Bolivia Reader

The Bolivia Reader provides a panoramic view, from antiquity to the present, of the history, culture, and politics of a country known for its ethnic and regional diversity, its rich natural resources and dilemmas of economic development, and its political conflict and creativity. Featuring both classic and little-known texts ranging from fiction, memoir, and poetry to government documents, journalism, and political speeches, the volume challenges stereotypes of Bolivia as a backward nation while offering insights into the country’s history of mineral extraction, revolution, labor organizing, indigenous peoples’ movements, and much more. Whether documenting Inka rule or Spanish conquest, three centuries at the center of Spanish empire, or the turbulent politics and cultural vibrancy of the national period, these sources—the majority of which appear in English for the first time—foreground the voices of actors from many different walks of life. Unprecedented in scope, The Bolivia Reader illustrates the historical depth and contemporary challenges of Bolivia in all its complexity.

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“The Bolivia Reader is a quite remarkable scholarly and editorial achievement. Its approach of providing us with direct access to scores of primary sources constitutes a unique ‘document of documents’ through which to engage with the country and its past. The editors have selected an exceptionally rich range of perspectives from before the Spanish conquest to the era of Evo Morales, from right and left, elite and popular, society and politics, literature and art. Their magisterial commentaries will assist all—newcomer and specialist alike—through the spellbinding Bolivian experience. Yet we, the readers of The Bolivia Reader, are always left free to form our own opinions.”

James Dunkerley, author of Rebellion in the Veins: Political Struggle in Bolivia, 1952–1982

“English-speaking audiences now have a rich resource for in-depth study of Bolivia. It is the perfect book for courses on Andean history and Latin America, as well as hemispheric courses on power, culture, politics, and economy in the Americas. Overall, this book is indispensable for university and college libraries. To put it simply, there is no comparable volume.”

Jane Mangan, The Americas