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The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development

by María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo

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The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development 822331667 This taught me a lot of things I didn't know about when and how we came to have 'the developed world' and 'the developing world,' how the links to colonialism and gender and capitalism work in a really complex way. I didn't know how shallow my own critical analysis of that stuff was before!
  booksofcolor | Aug 1, 2009 |
This taught me a lot of things I didn't know about when and how we came to have 'the developed world' and 'the developing world,' how the links to colonialism and gender and capitalism work in a really complex way. I didn't know how shallow my own critical analysis of that stuff was before!

I've always thought that a lot of the narratives of development that circulate around the ways sf thinks about the future have a lot to do with how white its mainstream worldview is. One of the things Saldana-Portillo argues is that the developmental imagination is NOT white/western-only, though, so I don't know.
  booksofcolor | Aug 1, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0822331667, Paperback)

In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo boldly argues that crucial twentieth-century revolutionary challenges to colonialism and capitalism in the Americas have failed to resist—and in fact have been constitutively related to—the very developmentalist narratives that have justified and naturalized postwar capitalism. Saldaña-Portillo brings the critique of development discourse to bear on such exemplars of revolutionary and resistant political thought and practice as Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Malcolm X, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, and the Guatemalan guerrilla resistance. She suggests that for each of these, developmentalist constructions frame the struggle as a heroic movement from unconsciousness to consciousness, from a childlike backwardness toward a disciplined and self-aware maturity.

Reading governmental reports, memos, and policies, Saldaña-Portillo traces the arc of development narratives from its beginnings in the 1944 Bretton Woods conference through its apex during Robert S. McNamara's reign at the World Bank (1968–1981). She compares these narratives with models of subjectivity and agency embedded in the autobiographical texts of three revolutionary icons of the 1960s and 1970s—those of Che Guevara, Guatemalan insurgent Mario Payeras, and Malcolm X—and the agricultural policy of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Saldaña-Portillo highlights a shared paradigm of a masculinist transformation of the individual requiring the "transcendence" of ethnic particularity for the good of the nation. While she argues that this model of progress often alienated the very communities targeted by the revolutionaries, she shows how contemporary insurgents such as Rigoberta Menchú, the Zapatista movement, and queer Aztlán have taken up the radicalism of their predecessors to retheorize revolutionary subjectivity for the twenty-first century.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:01 -0400)

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