Richard Feinberg

Capsule Review
2014
Richard Feinberg

Offering much more hope than despair, these sophisticated reflections by a veteran Chilean scholar-politician -- who currently serves in the country’s Senate -- seem especially pertinent given recent events.

Capsule Review
2014
Richard Feinberg

As a young anthropologist, Howe traveled to Nicaragua to investigate how rights typically codified in the developed world, especially sexual freedoms, might be reformulated in the developing world.

Capsule Review
2014
Richard Feinberg

Throughout the Western Hemisphere, frustration with dysfunctional national governments is inspiring a search for alternatives at the supranational, regional, and very local levels.

Capsule Review
2014
Richard Feinberg

Ainslie’s book is mainly a journalistic account of the horrific drug-related violence and deeply entrenched police corruption that have wracked the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez.

Capsule Review
2014
Richard Feinberg

Quesadillas is a satirical, tragicomic, bottom-up portrait of Mexico in the 1980s, in the waning years of the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s dominance.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Richard Feinberg

A senior Venezuelan diplomat-scholar, Toro Hardy depicts a rapidly declining United States and Europe and an emerging Chinese powerhouse, voicing an increasingly common perspective on global trends.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Richard Feinberg

This well-argued interpretive economic history is reasonably balanced in its assessment of the region’s progress and shortcomings.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Richard Feinberg

Pérez, a masterful historian of Cuba, argues that whether Fidel Castro was motivated by heartfelt convictions or political opportunism, the Cuban leader undeniably understood the power of the past to drive contemporary politics.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Richard Feinberg

As U.S. President Jimmy Carter entered the White House in 1977, determined to restore purposeful idealism to U.S. foreign policy, a brutal military dictatorship in Argentina was systematically torturing and murdering thousands of suspected leftists.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
Richard Feinberg

The Cuban American novelist García tries her hand at political fiction, with only partial success.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
Richard Feinberg

Frank produces a remarkably rich, gritty account of daily life today in the twilight of Caribbean socialism.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
Richard Feinberg

Lynch narrates the 500-year history of the Catholic Church in Latin America with fluidity and intelligence, concluding that although “tradition confronts modernity, authority and liberty in the Church have remained indivisible, each a restraint on excess in the other.”

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
Richard Feinberg

The veteran human rights advocates whose writings are collected here celebrate the forward march of Latin Americans in securing political freedoms, even as the book calls for more attention to economic, social, and cultural rights.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Richard Feinberg

Bustos extols Guevara’s sacrificial utopianism and historical fatalism, yet his stories constitute a less flattering profile of the man’s leadership style and analytic grasp.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Richard Feinberg

The daughter of a prominent revolutionary family, Piñeiro Harnecker has emerged as an influential advocate for cooperatives and worker self-management in a changing Cuba.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Richard Feinberg

It is surely too soon to issue a definitive verdict on the reign of Fidel Castro, but this preliminary effort well sums up the current assessment of most centrist Cuba observers.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Richard Feinberg

O’Neil sketches a persuasively optimistic portrait of Mexico, one at odds with the crime-drenched media reports and alarmist warnings of nativists in the United States.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Richard Feinberg

Stuart interweaves the journeys of the author’s ancestors with the turbulent history of the English-speaking Caribbean islands and their role in the making of the Atlantic world.

Capsule Review
May/June
2013
Richard Feinberg

The author’s father, a distinguished physician and prominent human rights activist, was gunned down in 1987 in Medellín, Colombia, by one of the right-wing death squads that operated with impunity in the country at that time. This poetic memoir is many things at once: a sensitive son’s recollections of growing up in a loving family; a proud homage to his generous father, who was devoted to his relatives, his many medical students, and his wider community and whom Abad describes as “Christian in religion, Marxist in economics, and liberal in politics”; and a moving contemplation of human tragedy and memory (“an opaque, cracked mirror”).

Capsule Review
May/June
2013
Richard Feinberg

The veteran Haiti observer Wilentz returned to Haiti after the devastating earthquake that struck the country in January 2010 to further ponder the causes of Haiti’s deep poverty and dysfunctional governments and to witness the massive reconstruction. Wilentz is at her best when describing the more exotic aspects of Haitian culture: its pagan religions, zombies, and werewolves.

Capsule Review
May/June
2013
Richard Feinberg

In this important, encouraging study, a group of World Bank economists smashes the long-standing image of Latin America as a stagnant region marred by a yawning rich-poor divide.

Capsule Review
May/June
2013
Richard Feinberg

This marvelous volume by Mikoyan’s late son, appearing only now in English, recounts the tough negotiations that followed between his father, the Cuban leadership, and the Kennedy administration over the weapons, the presence of which Washington had at one point been utterly unaware of and which risked making Cuba a nuclear power.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Richard Feinberg

The rapper and hip-hop producer Jean recounts vivid, laugh-out-loud stories of his boyhood growing up poor in rural Haiti, then immigrating to the mean streets of Brooklyn’s public-housing projects. In many ways, the book is a get-even shot at his former lover and musical collaborator Lauryn Hill, who related her thoughts about their relationship on her acclaimed 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Richard Feinberg

Carpenter bases his sharp criticism of current U.S. counternarcotics policies not on libertarian principles relating to consumer choice (as one might anticipate from a senior fellow at the Cato Institute) but rather on pragmatic grounds. Shirk’s report shares many of Carpenter’s critical assessments, although his policy recommendations are not quite as bold.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Richard Feinberg

This compendium of sophisticated essays probes the rapidly evolving economic, diplomatic, and ideological links between China and Latin American countries. There is no single takeaway, but the thoughtful commentaries collected here note a number of opportunities to be seized and potential dangers to be averted.