The Assassination Of Gaitán: Public Life And Urban Violence In Colombia by Herbert BraunThe Assassination Of Gaitán: Public Life And Urban Violence In Colombia by Herbert Braun

The Assassination Of Gaitán: Public Life And Urban Violence In Colombia

byHerbert Braun

Paperback | October 28, 2003

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Drawn in part from personal interviews with participants and witnesses, Herbert Braun’s analysis of the riot’s roots, its patterns and consequences, provides a dramatic account of this historic turning point and an illuminating look at the making of modern Colombia.

Braun’s narrative begins in the year 1930 in Bogotá, Colombia, when a generation of Liberals and Conservatives came to power convinced they could kept he peace by being distant, dispassionate, and rational. One of these politicians, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, was different. Seeking to bring about a society of merit, mass participation, and individualism, he exposed the private interests of the reigning politicians and engendered a passionate relationship with his followers. His assassination called forth urban crowds that sought to destroy every visible evidence of public authority of a society they felt no longer had the moral right to exist.

This is a book about behavior in public: how the actors—the political elite, Gaitán, and the crowds—explained and conducted themselves in public, what they said and felt, and what they sought to preserve or destroy, is the evidence on which Braun draws to explain the conflicts contained in Colombian history. The author demonstrates that the political culture that was emerging through these tensions offered the hope of a peaceful transition to a more open, participatory, and democratic society.

“Most Colombians regard Jorge Eliécer Gaitán as a pivotal figure in their nation’s history, whose assassination on April 9, 1948 irrevocably changed the course of events in the twentieth century. . . . As biography, social history, and political analysis, Braun’s book is a tour de force.”—Jane M. Rausch, Hispanic American Historical Review

Herbert Braun is assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, he has also taught at the Colegio de México in Mexico City.
Title:The Assassination Of Gaitán: Public Life And Urban Violence In ColombiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:October 28, 2003Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299103641

ISBN - 13:9780299103644

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Editorial Reviews

On April 9, 1948, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, then a popular political leader likely to become the next president of Colombia, was shot and killed by a drifter whose motivations remain obscure. Gaitán’s death touched off a spontaneous riot, known as the Bogotazo, and left hundreds dead, razed the center of Bogotá and had far reaching consequences.