Transnational communism across the Americas

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ed. by Marc Becker et al Illinois, 2023

  • 288p bibl index, 9780252045226 $110.00, 9780252087363 $30.00, 9780252054747
  • LC Call Number: HX110

This edited volume examines the history of communist parties, ideas, and activists in Latin America from the Russian Revolution (1917) to the end of the Cold War (1989). Instead of a traditional history centered on political national experiences, editors Becker (Truman State Univ.), Power (emer., Illinois Institute of Technology), Wood (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder), and Zumoff (New Jersey City Univ.) propose a transnational approach that includes solidarity campaigns, youth festivals, exile communities, and international travels. Following a brief introduction, the book is chronologically organized into two parts and 10 chapters. Most chapters, however, focus on Central America and the Caribbean, showing how the circulation of ideas and people historically shaped radical movements in this region. The two chapters on women, Adriana Petra’s about the trajectory of Argentine activist María Rosa Oliver and Patricia Harms’s on Guatemalan feminist organizations, are fascinating and bring a much-needed gender perspective that challenges a party history which has traditionally emphasized the role of male leaders. In sum, as Tanya Harmer, a historian of the Latin American Cold War, mentions in her afterword, the book’s transnational approach contributes to understanding the “lost voices of the past” and the relationship between the global and the local (p. 235).

Summing Up: Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty.