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Distributed for Reaktion Books

From Frontiers to Football

An Alternative History of Latin America since 1800

Distributed for Reaktion Books

From Frontiers to Football

An Alternative History of Latin America since 1800

With Brazil hosting the FIFA World Cup this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016, all eyes are on Latin America. But what vision of these countries will we be given? Will our airwaves be full of cultural stereotypes about Latin Americans and inaccurate interpretations of the region’s position in the world? In From Frontiers to Football, Matthew Brown provides a much-needed historical analysis to rebut misconceptions about Latin America’s past while giving readers the tools with which to understand the region’s complex present.
Telling the story of Latin America’s engagement with global empires from 1800 to today, From Frontiers to Football is as much a narrative of repeated cycles, continued dependency, and thwarted dreams as it is a tale of imperial designs overthrown, colonial armies defeated, and other successes that have inspired colonized peoples across the globe. Brown restores a cultural history to the continent, giving as much attention to pop singer Shakira and retired footballer Pelé as he does to coffee producers, copper miners, government policies, and covert imperialism. Latin America, Brown shows, is no longer a frontier or periphery, but rather is at the forefront of innovation and a global center for social, cultural, and economic activities. Clear and readable, From Frontiers to Football presents a compelling introduction to the history of Latin America’s interactions with the world over the last two centuries.

224 pages | 15 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014

History: Latin American History

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“Historians have paid less attention than they should to Latin America’s place in global history. In this sparkling and marvelously readable book, Brown draws on novels, film, music, and sport, as well as political and economic history, to show how intense Latin Americans’ engagement with the rest of the world has really been, from Simón Bolívar and the independence struggles of the 1810s to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the global impact of Gloria Estefan, Diego Maradona and Gabriel García Márquez. A superb introduction to Latin America’s history, written for a global age.”

John Darwin, Oxford University

“Latin America’s huge influence on the world is well recognised but rarely understood, so this book is an overdue exercise in accessible myth busting. In the year that the World Cup comes back to the region for the first time in almost 30 years, Brown skillfully joins the dots between the region’s culture and those of the rest of the world. Reasoned, opinionated, and moreish.”

Andy Brassell, European football writer and broadcaster

“Everything you wanted to know about Latin America. . . . Matthew Brown has managed to compact 200 years of history of a vast and diverse region into just over 200 pages. He has condensed recent academic scholarship on history and politics and combined it with what you really want to know about culture, society, and sport, particularly how and why football became so influential. This is a very readable and knowledgeable introduction that will help all readers join the dots and gain a deep understanding of how Latin America came to be how it is and what makes it tick today. A must-read for anyone interested in the region.” 

Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, University of Kent

Table of Contents

Latin America and the World: An Introduction
1. Goodbye, Colonial Worlds: Independence
2. Building Nations, Looking for Models
3. Raw Materials, Raw Wounds
4. New Exchanges, New Markets
5. Beneath a New Empire
6. Latin America in the Cold War
7. Violence and Exoticism
8. Unleashed from Empire?
Photo Acknowledgements

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