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From Development to Dictatorship

Bolivia and the Alliance for Progress in the Kennedy Era

Jr. Thomas C. Field

Publication Year: 2014

Published by: Cornell University Press


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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xvi

During a six-month jaunt around South America in early 1963, American journalist Hunter S. Thompson became fixated on what he called “Baffling Bolivia: A Never-Never Land High above the Sea.” Swigging bourbon whiskey on the couch of a US Embassy official as armed workers and peasants...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xix

Map of South America, Early 1960s

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p. xx

Map of Bolivia, Early 1960s

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pp. xxi-xxiv

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Introduction: Ideology as Strategy

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pp. 1-9

On 1 May 2013, Bolivian president Evo Morales announced that his government was expelling the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “The times have passed,” Morales declared, when the United States could use “charity” as a fig leaf for “manipulation . . . domination . . . [and] subjugation.”...

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1. Modernization’s Heavy Hand: The Triangular Plan for Bolivia

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pp. 10-38

If ideologies of development are intellectual tools capable of being wielded by states for political ends, their strategic nature should be evident from the very inception of any development- oriented intervention. Indeed, the communist threat was midwife to the extensive foreign aid program launched...

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2. Development as Anticommunism: The Targeting of Bolivian Labor

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pp. 39-66

Before the ink could dry on Bolivia’s Alliance for Progress agreement, internal tensions began to emerge in Washington and La Paz. US conservatives, viewing the Paz regime as repressive and socialist, were the first to question the wisdom of large- scale assistance to the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR; Revolutionary Nationalist Movement). Meanwhile, Paz’s...

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3. “Bitter Medicine”: Military Civic Action and the Battle of Irupata

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pp. 67-97

As crises continued to threaten Bolivia’s political orientation in the early 1960s, US liberals sought to reassure President Paz and deepen their commitment to his repressive, modernizing regime. Communism in Bolivia, both domestic and international, drove an increasingly heavy- handed policy of thoroughgoing...

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4. Development’s Detractors: Miners, House wives, and the Hostage Crisis at Siglo XX

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pp. 98-130

Central to the Alliance for Progress in Bolivia was the idea that order and authority were necessary ingredients for economic and social development. Throughout the program’s implementation, political crises strengthened US liberal resolve to redouble efforts in support of President Paz’s modernizing...

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5. Seeds of Revolt: The Making of an Antiauthoritarian Front

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pp. 131-158

With strong backing from Washington, President Víctor Paz set about to drag Bolivia toward his vision of modernity. His authoritarian approach to development was fueling the rapid militarization of the Bolivian countryside, and armed force had been unleashed against recalcitrant miners. Depicted by...

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6. Revolutionary Bolivia Puts On a Uniform: The 1964 Bolivian Coup d’État

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pp. 159-188

With unwavering backing from the liberal Alliance for Progress, President Víctor Paz proceeded to create a development- oriented authoritarian state, dedicated to the transformation of Bolivia into his vision of a modern nation. Left- wing and right-wing conspiracies against his government abounded in...

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Conclusion: Development and Its Discontents

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pp. 189-196

Was the 1964 coup a revolution or a counterrevolution? As Ambassador Henderson put it, “In Bolivia, they don’t come down so neat.”1 The immediate result of the military takeover was a pop u lar insurrection. Armed students and workers stormed the national penitentiary and Control Político offices...


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pp. 197-242


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pp. 243-262


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pp. 263-272

E-ISBN-13: 9780801470455
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801452604

Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 879576372
MUSE Marc Record: Download for From Development to Dictatorship

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Subject Headings

  • Bolivia -- Politics and government -- 1952-1982.
  • Bolivia -- History -- 1952-1982.
  • Bolivia -- Social conditions -- 1952-1982.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Bolivia.
  • Bolivia -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • Alliance for Progress.
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