The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics
Ignacio Calderón, Alison Spedding, 2018. "Dreams of the Railroad", The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Sinclair Thomson, Rossana Barragán, Xavier Albó, Seemin Qayum, Mark Goodale
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In the late nineteenth century, the railroad was imagined by liberal elites as offering a marvelous fix for the country’s ongoing problems of geographical isolation, regional stagnation, and technological backwardness. Paeans to the railway, such as the passage that follows, written by the Bolivian diplomat Ignacio Calderón (1848–1927) in 1906, conceived of modernization as the replacement of the animal caravans that had long traversed the Andean landscape with the new Anglo-American-financed mode of mechanized transportation.
Calderón was the representative in Washington for the Liberal administrations of Ismael Montes (1904–9, 1913–17). He actively courted U.S. financial investment and arranged the so-called...