The political violence that haunts much of modern Latin America has long preoccupied scholars of the region. Yet few works provide a perspective as wide-ranging as A Century of Revolution. This important collection — with its careful attention to causes, processes, and outcomes — goes a long way toward debunking the widespread view that political violence is “natural” to Latin America. It also shows just how restrained revolutionary violence has often been in face of pervasive counterrevolutionary terror.

In his extensive introduction, Greg Grandin forcefully argues that political violence should be taken as a category of historical analysis. He criticizes historians of Latin America for having ceded to other disciplines “the task of assessing and defining the larger historical meaning of twentieth-century Latin American political violence” (p. 11). As overstated as this claim may be, Grandin is right to call for more...

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