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Synopsis

Simn Bolvar once inspired a continent to rise from serfdom and throw off the shackles of Spanish rule. Viva South America! sets out to discover if the dream of Simn Bolvar - for independence, freedom and equality - lives on in modern South America.

Armed with a reporter's notebook and an open mind, Oliver Balch hits the road in search of answers. With the ghost of Simn Bolvar as guide, the quest takes the reader off the tourist trail and into the weird and wonderful worlds of South American culture and society. By stepping into people's homes and into inmates' prison cells, by climbing onto dance floors and over road blocks, Oliver Balch unearths untold stories from the front line of South America's contemporary fight for freedom.

Oliver Balch is a UK freelance journalist, whose work has appeared in a wide range of international publications, including the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Traveller. Viva South America! was shortlisted as 'Book of the Year' at the UK Travel Press Awards and his latest book is the critically acclaimed India Rising: Tales From A Changing Nation.

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