"This is a remarkable (and unconventional) book. It conveys vivid portraits of contemporary Latin America with authenticity and immediacy. Based in large part on first-hand observation, it is insightful, compassionate, and well written."--Peter H. Smith, University of California, San Diego "This book is brilliant, provocative, highly original, and immensely learned--a series of shafts sunk into contemporary Latin American reality at different angles. Informative and fun to read, it is based on profound learning and extensive human experience in many countries. Writing from the point of view of an informed liberal conscience, but without sentimentality or self-hatred, Colburn maintains just the right balance of scholarly detachment and human engagement. He has something to teach both specialist and beginner."--Mark Falcoff, American Enterprise Institute "This book encompasses a broad range of issues that must be of concern to anyone interested in the present and future of Latin America. It presents a wealth of direct personal experience and observation with judicious addition of data and interpretations from others. New is the interpretation of events, knitting together many strands of analysis and argument, always linked to real people and places. It is an original and bold book for a social scientist to write. Colburn distances us from romanticized or ideologized views of Latin America, to see clearly and freshly what is going on."--Norman Uphoff, Cornell UniversityColburn, Forrest D. is the author of 'Latin America at the End of Politics', published 2002 under ISBN 9780691091815 and ISBN 0691091811.