The Centralist Tradition of Latin America

In This Review

The Centralist Tradition of Latin America

By Claudio Véliz
Princeton University Press, 1980
355 pp. $22.50
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As finely and intricately woven as a great tapestry, this thoughtful book is a splendid achievement in Latin American historical analysis. Noting that northwestern Europe experienced feudalism, religious nonconformity, the Industrial Revolution, and the by-products of the French Revolution, whereas Latin America did not, Véliz argues that European political and social forms and norms cannot be applied to Latin America. The latter must follow its own style and tradition, which is that of bureaucratic centralism, preindustrial and non-egalitarian in character.