In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Latin Americanist, June 2012 people, blacks and females are less informed and less likely to participate in politics, their ability to influence public policy is further reduced. A chapter on Cuba adds to the discussion of inequality by analyzing how black hip-hop singers and a painter express the racism that permeates a society organized under a government that is proud of its antiracist and egalitarian policies. The final chapter traces how Latin American inequality is projected in upstate New York through undocumented Latino farm workers , who have become a powerless rural underclass in the United States. Indelible Inequalities is an illuminating volume for scholars interested in innovative approaches to inequality, or for readers familiar with Latin American history interested in how inequality is perpetrated through lessconspicuous means. Readers will gain from both individual chapters and the volume as a whole. The collective effort to unify different research methods and approaches through Tilly´s relational framework, however, has limits. Some contributors are more skilled than others in using the framework, and in some essays the framework seems forced. Additionally, the chapters are not equally compelling. For instance, it is not clear if the artistic production of a few hip-hop groups and a painter in Cuba are substantial evidence of the alleged racism on the island. The case selection also works against the generalizability of the collective endeavor. The essays only examine three countries–Peru, Brazil, and Cuba–providing a narrow geographical approach to a work that refers to a region composed of approximately 20 countries. It is not clear why Peru deserves two chapters, nor how representative is an essay about one of the most equal societies in the region (Cuba). Moreover, the essay on the labor conditions of Latino farmworkers in New York seems misplaced despite the fact that it is well-written and grounded in solid research. Indelible Inequalities differs from works that treat inequality in strictly economic or political terms, providing an innovative fine-grained approach to a multidimensional concept of high relevance in Latin America. This book shows that treating inequality as “relational” opens research to a broader set of analytical strategies. However, it also reminds readers of the potential limits that an edited volume has when the logic underlying the case selection is not evident, and when the chapters are not homogenous regarding their adherence to the theoretical framework. Ignacio Arana Araya Department of Political Science University of Pittsburgh CONTEMPORARY TRAVEL WRITING OF LATIN AMERICA. By Claire Lindsay. New York: Routledge, 2010, 176 pp., $125. Publications like Roberto González Echevarría’s Myth and Archive and Marie L. Pratt’s Imperial Eyes conferred to travel writing a visibility it 192 Book Reviews did not previously have in literary and cultural studies of Latin America. González Echevarría, through the notion of “simulacrum of legitimacy,” argued that literary texts assumed the form and style of a document positing meaningful characteristics for a society in a specific point in time. This idea, along with the previous centrality of the chronicles of discovery and conquest during the 16th and 17th centuries in Latin America, implied that travel narrative was one of the most influential subgenres for the emergence of the novel. Whenever writers were committed to depict their local world, they appealed to travel narrative as a text that, to use González Echevarría’s words, was “endowed with truth-bearing power.” But this simulacrum also suggests that the gaze of the native writer had to differ from that of the European explorer. Latin America was, as Neil Whitehead has already explained, a depository of myths that offered “the discovery of the fantastic, the survival of the anachronistic, and the promise of the marvelous monstrosity.” Latin American thinkers were endowed with the difficult mission of unmasking those myths and through this process discovering what had previously been revealed. Contemporary Travel Writing of Latin America, written by Claire Lindsay, a Senior Lecturer at University College London, departs from the significance of travel writing as a basis for the creation of a Latin American consciousness. Although Lindsay relies on notions of subalternity and voice, her theoretical foundations are multiple, and her goal is to establish...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 192-194
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.