Bolivar

Bolivar

American Liberator

Book - 2013
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Baker & Taylor
An authoritative portrait of the Latin-American warrior-statesman draws on a wealth of primary documents to set his life against a backdrop of the explosive tensions of 19th-century South America, providing coverage of such topics as his role in the 1813 campaign for Colombian and Venezuelan independence, his legendary love affairs and his achievements as a strategist, abolitionist and diplomat.

Baker
& Taylor

An authoritative portrait of the Latin-American warrior-statesman examines his life against a backdrop of the tensions of nineteenth-century South America, covering his achievements as a strategist, abolitionist, and diplomat.

Simon and Schuster
It is astonishing that Simón Bolívar, the great Liberator of South America, is not better known in the United States. He freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled more than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history. His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood: he fought battle after battle in punishing terrain, forged uncertain coalitions of competing forces and races, lost his beautiful wife soon after they married and never remarried (although he did have a succession of mistresses, including one who held up the revolution and another who saved his life), and he died relatively young, uncertain whether his achievements would endure.

Drawing on a wealth of primary documents, novelist and journalist Marie Arana brilliantly captures early nineteenth-century South America and the explosive tensions that helped revolutionize Bolívar. In 1813 he launched a campaign for the independence of Colombia and Venezuela, commencing a dazzling career that would take him across the rugged terrain of South America, from Amazon jungles to the Andes mountains. From his battlefield victories to his ill-fated marriage and legendary love affairs, Bolívar emerges as a man of many facets: fearless general, brilliant strategist, consummate diplomat, passionate abolitionist, gifted writer, and flawed politician. A major work of history, Bolívar colorfully portrays a dramatic life even as it explains the rivalries and complications that bedeviled Bolívar’s tragic last days. It is also a stirring declaration of what it means to be a South American.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439110195
1439110190
Branch Call Number: 92 B6382a 2013
Characteristics: 603 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 25 cm

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jr3083
Sep 14, 2017

This is a long book at 468 pages of smallish text. It is told completely chronologically, following Bolívar’s life from his wealthy upbringing as in a Creole (white, South American born) family, his education in Europe, his multiple failed attempts to foment the overthrow of the Spanish colonial powers, his eventual success in multiple places all over South America over a period of just eleven years, and his inability to harness the ambitions or treachery of the officials and soldiers left in command while he hared around the country (they didn’t call him ‘Iron-Ass’ for nothing).
....
It’s written by a novelist and journalist, but I need have had no fear of that as a historian. There are copious footnotes (although they are not signalled in the text) and she has obviously immersed herself in the various historigraphical debates about Simon Bolívar.
...
Nearly every reference to Simon Bolívar that I have read his ended up using Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ title for his book The General in his Labyrinth. But it certainly seems that his long drawn-out death was probably the worst way for a revolutionary hero to die: enfeebled and disillusioned, with people wondering when he would eventually die.

For my complete review, visit:
https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/bolivar-the-epic-life-of-the-man-who-liberated-south-america-by-marie-arana/

SFPL_RicardoA Jan 22, 2015

A sweeping, extraordinary biography that is entertaining and well-written. Expect no Bolivar-the-hero reflected here, but rather a true portrait of a sometimes flawed, sometimes courageous man facing impossible odds in his quest to gain independence from Spain for much of South America. Highly recommended.

r
robinb
Aug 01, 2013

This is historical research that reads like a novel. Most North Americans don't know anything about Bolivar, yet he was as significant and important as Napoleon, Washington, Wellington, or Brandt. Of course, if those names don't sound familiar you may not be interested..,.

ChristchurchLib Jun 18, 2013

"In 1813, 200 years before the publication of this biography, Simón Bolívar began the military campaign that would eventually lead to the liberation of much of South America from Spanish rule. This vivid and thoroughly researched biography explores his family background, his youth, and his career following independence to create a nuanced portrait of this complex man, viewed both as a dictatorial strongman and as a visionary leader." June 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=645920

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