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Military struggle and identity formation in Latin America: race, nation, and community during the liberal period, ed. by Nicola Foote and René D. Harder Horst. University Press of Florida, 2010. 350p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780813034874, $69.95. Reviewed in 2011aug CHOICE.
Editors Foote (Florida Gulf Coast Univ.) and Horst (Appalachian State Univ.) characterize their edited volume on the involvement of African descendants and indigenous peoples in Latin American wars as part of a new military history. Rather than an old "drum-and-trumpet" tradition in military history that emphasizes institutions and politics, this new approach brings the sensibilities of social history to examine warfare from a subaltern perspective. In particular, this volume engages themes of race and ethnicity in both internal and external military conflicts from 1850 to 1950. Through a series of 13 chapters, the case studies achieve an impressive breadth and significantly close a gap in the literature that has marginalized the actions of African descendants and indigenous peoples. Rather than examining how racial divisions led to military conflicts, these essays analyze how war shapes ethnicity and identity. Participation in the military provided an avenue for social advancement and a way to claim citizenship rights. Nevertheless, a significant gap remained between the liberal rhetoric of political inclusion and the continuing realities of social and economic exclusion. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. Becker, Truman State University

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