This book makes a strong addition to the English-language literature on Simón Bolívar. The opening essay, by the late Simon Collier, is strategically placed, for it provides a lucid introduction to Bolívar’s principal political concerns: first, his preoccupation with creating order while protecting freedom from tyranny and his persistent preference for uncomplicated, practical ways of governing societies without experience of civil liberty and political representation; and second, his effort to nurture Spanish American unity (through plans for various forms of confederation and federation) and to find a stable place for the new republics in the international community through alliance with Britain. Collier addresses these issues with admirable clarity, raising themes that are elaborated in the essays that follow: Bolívar’s education in the political thought of the Enlightenment and its connections to classical republican models; his selective admiration for the French and American revolutions; his belief in the need for republican...

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