Latin America: The Allure And Power Of An Idea

Hardcover | April 5, 2017

byMauricio Tenorio-Trillo

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“Latin America” is a concept firmly entrenched in its philosophical, moral, and historical meanings. And yet, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo argues in this landmark book, it is an obsolescent racial-cultural idea that ought to have vanished long ago with the banishment of racial theory. Latin America: The Allure and Power of an Idea makes this case persuasively.

Tenorio-Trillo builds the book on three interlocking steps: first, an intellectual history of the concept of Latin America in its natural historical habitat—mid-nineteenth-century redefinitions of empire and the cultural, political, and economic intellectualism; second, a serious and uncompromising critique of the current “Latin Americanism”—which circulates in United States–based humanities and social sciences; and, third, accepting that we might actually be stuck with “Latin America,” Tenorio-Trillo charts a path forward for the writing and teaching of Latin American history. Accessible and forceful, rich in historical research and specificity, the book offers a distinctive, conceptual history of Latin America and its many connections and intersections of political and intellectual significance. Tenorio-Trillo’s book is a masterpiece of interdisciplinary scholarship.

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“Latin America” is a concept firmly entrenched in its philosophical, moral, and historical meanings. And yet, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo argues in this landmark book, it is an obsolescent racial-cultural idea that ought to have vanished long ago with the banishment of racial theory. Latin America: The Allure and Power of an Idea makes thi...

Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo is the Samuel N. Harper Professor of history at the University of Chicago and associate professor at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City. He is the author of many books including I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, also published by the University of ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:April 5, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022644306X

ISBN - 13:9780226443065

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“Tenorio-Trillo examines a powerful paradox defining the study of ‘Latin America’ with particular focus on the US academy, exposing what appears, at first, as a logical impossibility. He demonstrates that the very notion of Latin America as conventionally articulated in this academic milieu should have ceased to carry any weight some time ago, on account of various developments in our fields of study. At the same time, he shows us that the term itself and all the debates that it is bound up with—the legitimate ones as well as the not-so-legitimate ones—continue to carry the highest degree of urgency in our time. Hence, this is a less a book about abstract ideas and theories, and more an ethical call to arms for everyone that the problematic term concerns: a call, made with at times disarming clarity and honesty, to more effectively position our collective habits, priorities, and strategies to deal with the many, multi-faceted problems at hand. To call this essential reading for those concerned with the field would be a powerful under-statement.”