Evil Hour in Colombia

Forrest Hylton, Author . Verso $23 (174p) ISBN 978-1-84467-551-7

Colombia's long-drawn-out internal strife between guerrillas, paramilitaries and the state is confusing to many outsiders. The numerous groups fighting for land and power, combined with the presence of powerful narco-traffickers, have created an environment of violent chaos and political conflict. Hylton, a researcher in history at New York University, helps make sense of this disorder in his detailed and concise history of Colombia over the last 150 years. In this short book, he manages to create a full picture of Colombian history and the violence that marks it. At a quick, consistent pace, the book moves through the early causes of radical mobilization in the mid-19th century and the system of repression that emerged in response. Hylton examines the fractured social and political circumstances that spawned the extremist groups as well as the forces, such as the rise of coffee exports after 1880, that have fueled them. He also examines the major role the United States has played in Colombia's history, and how the "war on drugs" was often executed with Washington's broader political and economic goals in mind. By the end of this well-researched book, Hylton clarifies Colombia's endemic violence as a social and political phenomenon. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 174 pages - 978-1-84467-072-7
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