In this lively and wide-ranging book, historian James F. Siekmeier asserts that “Latin American nationalism has the curious nature of being simultaneously weak and yet strongly proclaimed at the same time” (p. 33). The book grapples with this seeming contradiction by providing a broad historical overview and panoramic case studies that successfully convey the varied nature of nationalism in Latin America.

Divided into six parts, the book starts by discussing what nationalism is, what it looks like in different contexts, and how it has historically manifested itself in Latin America. The author's emphasis on globalization as a key explanatory concept comes off as gimmicky at first but does help to link the different national experiences under a unifying transnational framework.

During and after the wars for independence, Siekmeier argues, creole elites were hindered in their efforts to instill European-style nationalism by “regional,...

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