Cover image for Encyclopedia of Latin American politics
Encyclopedia of Latin American politics
Kapiszewski, Diana.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Oryx Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 358 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1410 .E56 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Illustrated with maps and photographs, The Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics covers the current and past political development of Puerto Rico and the 20 independent republics of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Although coverage begins with the independence movements of the late 18th century, the book focuses mainly on the 20th century. Each chapter includes a Country Chart listing relevant economic, political, and social data; a Country Entry section containing 20 to 40 brief entries on important terms, events, and individuals; a list of presidents; and a bibliography. An excellent source of current data and basic historical information on Latin American politics, the book is a valuable research tool for high school and college students and interested public library patrons.

Author Notes

DIANA KAPISZEWSKI served as Director for Academic Programs at Georgetown University's Center for Latin American Studies from August 1996 through May 2000 and is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley.

ALEXANDER KAZAN has worked at the Inter-American Development Bank and for the Political Database of the Americas, a project of the organization of American States and Georgetown University. He is currently the Latin-Americ analyst for the G-7 Group. His publications include Social Protection for Equity and Growth , and John Hopkins/Inter-American Development Bank, 2000 (contributing author).

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

"Every Latin American country has its own rich and unique history," says Jeffrey Taggart, who wrote the introductory article for this book. This is certainly exemplified in this publication from the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. The title will dispel myths that all of the governments south of the U.S. border are the same. Latin America is defined as the "eighteen Spanish-speaking republics of the Western Hemisphere, together with Portuguese-speaking Brazil and French-speaking Haiti" and additionally Puerto Rico. The book is broken into individual country chapters, each penned by a different author. Each chapter uses a standard format, which makes it easy to find comparative information. After a brief profile with demographic, business, and governmental structure information, there is an overview of the country's history, followed by between 20 and 40 A^-Z entries on important people and political organizations, issues, and events. These entries are concise, well written, and well cross-referenced. A list of the heads of state, a bibliography, and a list of Web resources conclude each chapter. The appendixes contain brief articles on inter-American organizations and U.S. policies aimed toward Latin America. A glossary of terms used in many articles and a well-compiled index round out the text. Information on these countries can be found in numerous other sources, among them Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture (Scribner, 1996), Reference Guide to Latin American History (Sharpe, 2000), and Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations (Gale, 10th ed, 2000), but this volume's country-by-country focus on twentieth-century politics makes it unique. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

Library Journal Review

Edited by Kapiszewski, former director of Academic Programs at Georgetown University's Center for Latin American Studies, this encyclopedia offers an in-depth presentation of developments in Puerto Rico and the 20 Latin American republics since the early 1800s, focusing primarily on the 20th century. A brief preface and an introductory essay illuminate the political histories and realities of these diverse countries. Each of the following entries is prepared by a scholar dedicated to the study of the specific country and using resources written in English and the country's language (Spanish, Portuguese, or French). Cross-referenced internally by boldface type and sometimes by See and See also references, each entry offers a country profile, including a succinct history; demographics; political, economic, and geographic data; and an alphabetical listing of prominent people, events, political movements, and heads of state. Bibliographic citations incorporate multilingual print and online resources (in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), while the appendixes contain brief descriptions of multilateral agreements, groupings, organizations, wars, and U.S. policy in Latin America and U.S.-based inter-American organizations. Easy to use, well illustrated with maps and photographs, and containing both a glossary and a good index, this important volume offers clear explanations of events, individuals, and dynamics. Highly recommended for high school, public, and college libraries as a companion to Thomas E. Skidmore and Peter H. Smith's Modern Latin America, The Statesman's Yearbook, and general-purpose encyclopedias.-Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Lib. & Information Science Program, Coll. of Education, Univ. of Denver (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Kapiszewski's encyclopedia is an excellent resource to support undergraduate history and political science survey courses in modern Latin America. It covers all the major topics, political parties, and people commonly taken up in these courses. The work, edited by Kapiszewski (Center for Latin American Studies, Georgetown Univ.), has chapters for each of the 20 primary Latin American nations as well as Puerto Rico. Each chapter begins with a country profile and brief history followed by entries highlighting political parties, historical events, significant leaders, and influential citizens and concludes with a list of presidents and a bibliography of print and electronic sources. The inclusion of reliable electronic resources is a welcome acknowledgement of undergraduate research patterns and needs. Reader aids include two appendixes that cover multilateral issues--e.g., wars, organizations and agreements, and US policies--an extensive index, and a brief glossary. By design it is not as comprehensive as Barbara A. Tannenbaum's Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture (CH, Jul'96), but Kapiszewski's ease of use and concise, current information make this a recommended title for all undergraduate libraries. J. H. Pollitz St. Ambrose University

Table of Contents

Jeffrey Taggart
Prefacep. vii
Historical Introduction to Latin Americap. ix
Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics
Argentinap. 3
Boliviap. 20
Brazilp. 37
Chilep. 55
Colombiap. 73
Costa Ricap. 92
Cubap. 102
Dominican Republicp. 119
Ecuadorp. 132
El Salvadorp. 147
Guatemalap. 161
Haitip. 175
Hondurasp. 189
Mexicop. 200
Nicaraguap. 220
Panamap. 234
Paraguayp. 247
Perup. 258
Puerto Ricop. 279
Uruguayp. 291
Venezuelap. 303
Appendix 1 Multilateral Agreements, Groupings, Organizations, and Warsp. 321
Appendix 2 U.S. Policy in Latin America and U.S.-Based Inter-American Organizationsp. 327
Glossaryp. 333
Indexp. 339
Contributorsp. 357