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The Latin Americanist, September 2012 of the Cuban state to the production of hip hop artistry. In his analysis of the Black August collective and the role of Afro-centric hip hop, Baker questions whether the nostalgia for what U.S. hip hop once promised in terms of revolutionary race relations is part of what inspired earlier scholars , like Fernandes, to seek out evidence of revolutionary race relations within Cuba. His self-reflexive and inclusive engagement of other Cuban culture scholars and scholar-activists is an important contribution to, what Baker acknowledges, is a field of study flooded by external voices. While his chapter on “The Revolution of the Body” makes a compelling argument for the inclusion of reggaetón in studies of hip hop, it does not thoroughly develop the topic of the chapter’s title. Elsewhere in the text, Baker mentions that one of the reasons for hip hop’s short-lived place as a prominent music in Cuba was because of its dissociation from the other elements of hip hop culture—break-dance, graffiti, and deejay—and he recognizes that hip hop music started as a dance phenomenon featuring prominent Cuban b-boys. However, in this section, his introduction to the topic of the dancing body raises more issues than he explores. While he cites that, “the idea of dance as liberation was evoked by many interviewees in the CIDMUC [Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Música Cubana] (2005) report, who perceived reggaetón dancing in terms of freedom from the social and choreographic conventions of Cuban couple dances” (135) the emphasis of the chapter is actually on the ways that the blatant, hyper-sexualized lyrics and lack of engagement with socialist topics, are actually more revolutionary than the direct critiques revealed in hip hop lyricism. The 2009 collection Reggaeton edited by Raquel Rivera, Wayne Marshall, and Deborah Pacini Hernandez anticipate Baker’s text and confirm the growing interest in reggaetón as an important cultural phenomenon. Further research is due in the area of dance and bodily studies as it clearly plays an important place in both the evolution of hip hop in Cuba and the revolutionary capacities of reggaetón. Nonetheless, overall Buena Vista in the Club is an excellent contribution to the fields of Cuban cultural studies, hip hop studies, and world music studies. Baker opens up new areas for further inquiry into the role of the foreign scholar, bodily discourse within popular forms, and close readings of Cuba’s principal hip hop group today, Los Aldeanos. Naomi Pueo Wood Department of Spanish Colorado College A HISTORY OF MINING in LATIN AMERICA FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE PRESENT. By Kendall W. Brown. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012. ISBN (paper) 9780826351067. Xix + 257 pp. This is a timely book in an era of high commodity prices and growing environmental concern. What makes it special, aside from the author’s 104 Book Reviews profound knowledge of the topic and a straightforward narrative style, is its interest in assessing the overall meaning of Latin American mining. Students of history will benefit from the breadth and depth of the work, but so will readers interested in environmental policy and the economics of mineral extraction over the whole modern period. Students of Latin American politics will see how mining has permeated and occasionally driven national discourses much as it did colonial ones, and students of anthropology will appreciate the author’s keen interest in the rise of distinct mining cultures barely known to outsiders. The topic is huge, so Brown anchors his study in the legendary silver city of Potosı́, high in the Bolivian Andes. Brown covers nearly all of Latin America, but the ups and downs and peculiar mining culture of Potosı́ serve as a touchstone against which he measures other, typically more ephemeral districts. A historian of the colonial period perhaps best known in recent years for his path-breaking studies of Peru’s Huancavelica mercury mines, Brown devotes four chapters to colonial mining from the Caribbean to New Spain, to the Andes, and finally to Brazil. The first chapter provides a global context for Spanish and Portuguese obsession with gold...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1557-203X
Print ISSN
1557-2021
Pages
pp. 104-107
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-25
Open Access
No
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