We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Latin American Literary Boom and U.S. Nationalism during the Cold War

Deborah Cohn

Publication Year: 2012

During the 1960s and 1970s, when writers such as Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa entered the international literary mainstream, Cold War cultural politics played an active role in disseminating their work in the United States. Deborah Cohn documents how U.S. universities, book and journal publishers, philanthropic organizations, cultural centers, and authors coordinated their efforts to bring Latin American literature to a U.S. reading public during this period, when interest in the region was heightened by the Cuban Revolution. She also traces the connections between the endeavors of private organizations and official foreign policy goals.

The high level of interest in Latin America paradoxically led the U.S. government to restrict these authors' physical presence in the United States through the McCarranWalter Act's immigration blacklist, even as cultural organizations cultivated the exchange of ideas with writers and sought to market translations of their work for the U.S. market.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (436.6 KB)

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (403.7 KB)
pp. vii-viii


pdf iconDownload PDF (457.0 KB)
pp. ix-xiv

read more

Introduction. Multiple Agendas: Latin American Literary Fervor and U.S. Outreach Programs following the Cuban Revolution

pdf iconDownload PDF (612.9 KB)
pp. 1-36

In 1967, Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad appeared in Buenos Aires and became a runaway best seller throughout Spanish America. Printing after printing sold out, and excitement about the work coursed through the academy, the publishing world, and the general public alike. As Gerald Martin details, the novel had an unusually high first printing of eight thousand copies (almost three times the standard print run of three thousand)...

read more

1. "Catch 28": The McCarran-Walter Immigration Blacklist and Spanish American Writers

pdf iconDownload PDF (568.6 KB)
pp. 37-64

In 1952, the immigration and naturalization law known as the McCarran- Walter Act was passed by Congress. President Truman vetoed the act, declaring that “seldom has a bill exhibited the distrust evidenced here for citizens and aliens alike—at a time when we need unity at home and the confidence of our friends abroad,” but Congress voted overwhelmingly to override his veto (Cong. Rec. 1952, 8084). The act was a product of the...

read more

2. PEN and the Sword: Latin American Writers and the 1966 PEN Congress

pdf iconDownload PDF (571.4 KB)
pp. 65-94

In June 1966, International PEN held its annual conference in New York City. It was the first time in forty-two years that the United States had hosted the meeting. Arthur Miller had been elected president of the organization in 1965, and the weeklong congress, which drew more than six hundred people from fifty-six countries, marked a moment of international prestige for PEN. It also gave the PEN American Center, the local coordinator...

read more

3. Latin America and Its Literature in the U.S. University after the Cuban Revolution

pdf iconDownload PDF (672.6 KB)
pp. 95-144

The surge in attention to Latin America in the 1960s also rippled through the U.S. academy. Following World War II, government and philanthropic support for area studies programs flourished. For the most part, though, such programs were focused on regions of strategic interest to U.S. national security such as the Soviet Union, Asia, and Africa. Thus, when the Cuban Revolution took place, few universities had Latin American Studies...

read more

4. The "Cold War Struggle" for Latin American Literature at the Center for Inter-American Relations

pdf iconDownload PDF (685.3 KB)
pp. 145-192

Just days after the end of the Cuban missile crisis, a group of artists, scholars, journalists, publishers, and politicians from Latin America and the United States gathered on Paradise Island in the Bahamas to discuss inter- American cultural and political relations. The symposium, which was aimed at improving mutual understanding and communication between artists and intellectuals from both regions, was the brainchild of Robert Wool...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (465.1 KB)
pp. 193-202

After the 1966 PEN congress ended, Pablo Neruda traveled to California, where he gave a poetry reading at the University of California, Berkeley. The reading was attended by Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Carlos Martínez Moreno, who were traveling together at PEN’s expense—visiting universities, attending writers’ workshops, and otherwise establishing connections with the U.S. literary community. The Spanish American writers...


pdf iconDownload PDF (508.9 KB)
pp. 203-230

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF (460.0 KB)
pp. 231-242


pdf iconDownload PDF (554.2 KB)
pp. 243-266

E-ISBN-13: 9780826518064
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826518040

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2012