Kevin Young's Blood of the Earth is a study of nationalist and statist Bolivia between 1920 and 1980, with a special emphasis on the national revolution of 1952 and the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR) government of 1952–64. The book focuses on La Paz and is not a comprehensive treatment of all of Bolivia. Neither is it a complete history of the Bolivian Revolution: it covers the events of 1952 very briefly, and land reform, which meant a lot for hacienda workers and owners, is not a part of the story. Rather, Young concentrates on “resource nationalism,” or demands to take control of natural resources and use them for the good of the nation, as a constant in popular political culture. Like other recent scholars, he reevaluates this revolutionary period as a precursor to the presidency of Evo Morales beginning in 2006, in...

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