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Written by two leading historians, this deeply informed and accessible book traces the history of Colombia thematically, covering the past two centuries. In ten interlinked chapters, Michael J. LaRosa and Germán R. Mejía depart from more standard approaches by presenting a history of political, social, and cultural accomplishments within the context of Colombia’s specific geographic and economic realities. Their emphasis on cultural development, international relations, and everyday life contrasts sharply with works that focus only on Colombia’s violent past or dwell on a Colombian economy deeply dependent on narcotics—a tragic nation that barely functions. Instead, the authors emphasize Colombia’s remarkable national cohesion and endurance since the early nineteenth-century wars for independence. Including a photo essay, detailed chronology, and resource guide, this concise yet thorough history will be an invaluable resource for all readers seeking a thoughtful, definitive interpretation of Colombia’s past and present. This updated paperback edition addresses the current peace negotiations in an epilogue titled “Chronicle of a Peace Forestalled?”

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