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The assassination of Gaitán : public life and urban violence in Colombia /
Herbert Braun.
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
xiii, 282 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0299103609 :
More Details
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
0299103609 :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 257-271.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-07:
Braun, a Colombian who teaches in and has been educated in US universities, brings a unique perspective to the career of Colombian politician Jorge Eliecer Gaitan and to the outbreak of violence that followed his assassination in Bogota on April 9, 1948. Braun argues that from the 1930s, Gaitan threatened the elite's political hold on Colombia with his willingness to invite the masses to participate in politics. At Gaitan's death, the Bogota crowd attacked the political centers of the elite that despised them, before turning to vandalism and looting, a symbolic expression of grief and of unwillingness to return to the pre-Gaitan state of separateness from public life. No other politician could or would mediate between the elite and the masses, and for Colombia years of violence followed. Braun interviewed numerous Gaitan followers and people who had witnessed the violence of 9 April, and used these sources on various levels to interpret the deeper, symbolic meaning of the events. The author's speculative reading of the feral significance of Gaitan's prominent teeth seems forced, but this well-written book is a provocative addition to literature on 20th-century Latin American politics. College and university libraries.-J. Ewell, College of William and Mary
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1986
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