This authoritative book offers a comprehensive assessment of contemporary Venezuela. Analyzing the multifaceted phenomenon of Hugo Chávez, leading scholars move beyond his flamboyant style to focus on the concerns of popular social and political movements. The book challenges the misleading notions that for several decades glorified Venezuelan "exceptionalism" and minimized the role of important actors. After setting the historical and socio-economic contexts, the contributors explore racial issues, social and labor movements, electoral politics, economic and oil policy, and United States support for the Venezuelan opposition. Underscoring the complexity of Chávez and his popularity, the book highlights the need to avoid simplistic assessments of the past and present and offers a clear-eyed understanding of Venezuelan reality today.
Contributions by: Christopher I. Clement, Steve Ellner, Maria Pilar García Guadilla, Daniel Hellinger, Jesús María Herrera Salas, Edgardo Lander, Dick Parker, Miguel Tinker Salas, and Cristóbal Valencia Ramírez