Introduction to Latin America provides a completely new introduction to the political, social and economic forces shaping this essential region of undergraduate study today. It is the first textbook to place Latin America within a genuinely global context and introduce the debates and impact of globalization, neoliberalism, democratization, and the environment.
Chapter 2: Diversity Amid Unity
To the outside observer, Latin America appears much more homogeneous than does any other region of the world. It is neatly divided into extensive areas speaking the same language, whether they be the Spanish-speaking republics stretching from the US–Mexican border all the way to the southern tip of Chile and Argentina, Portuguese-speaking Brazil, which is the world's fifth largest country occupying nearly half of South America, or the numerous small English-speaking states of the Caribbean. Yet, while culture may unite, the region's geographical diversity has placed obstacles that impeded regular interaction throughout history. The Andes mountains, running from present-day Venezuela down the west coast of South America until they form the border between Chile and Argentina for 2,500 miles, are ...