Bolívar: American Liberator

Bol var American Liberator It is astonishing that Simon Bol var the great Liberator of South America is not better known in the United States He freed six countries from Spanish rule traveled than miles on horseback t

  • Title: Bolívar: American Liberator
  • Author: Marie Arana
  • ISBN: 9781439110195
  • Page: 396
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It is astonishing that Simon Bol var, the great Liberator of South America, is not better known in the United States He freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood he fought battle after battle in punishing terraiIt is astonishing that Simon Bol var, the great Liberator of South America, is not better known in the United States He freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood he fought battle after battle in punishing terrain, forged uncertain coalitions of competing forces and races, lost his beautiful wife soon after they married and never remarried although he did have a succession of mistresses, including one who held up the revolution and another who saved his life , and he died relatively young, uncertain whether his achievements would endure.

    • Free Read [Memoir Book] ✓ Bolívar: American Liberator - by Marie Arana ✓
      396 Marie Arana
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      Posted by:Marie Arana
      Published :2019-09-24T04:33:31+00:00

    2 thoughts on “Bolívar: American Liberator

    1. She was born in Peru, moved to the United States at the age of 9, did her B.A in Russian at Northwestern University, her M.A in linguistics at Hong Kong University, a certificate of scholarship at Yale University in China, and began her career in book publishing, where she was vice president and senior editor at Harcourt Brace and Simon Schuster For than a decade she was the editor in chief of Book World , the book review section of The Washington Post Currently, she is a Writer at Large for The Washington Post She is married to Jonathan Yardley, the Post s chief book critic, and has two children, Lalo Walsh and Adam Ward.

    2. All I know about Simon Bolivar is what I read in this book, so I will spare everyone with trying to pick or pan this book in regards to history,legend or historical bias and leave that to the experts. However, I feel I can comment authoritatively from a reader's perspective about the quality of this biography. In that regard, it receives high marks. Although I like biographies, I don't read many because I find myself plodding through them. This wasn't a difficult read even though there was a lot [...]

    3. OK, now that this is done I am happy I read it. I knew practically nothing about Simón Bolivar (1783-1830). Who's he???? He is the Venezuelan who freed South America from Spanish rule! The battle for independence began in Venezuela in 1810, spread to Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Final independence wasn't achieved until 14 years later. (Chile and Argentina were freed from Spanish rule by others, and that is not covered in this book.) The book follows the "liberator" from birth to [...]

    4. As a member of the American Historical Association, I had already heard buzz about Bolivar: American Liberator. As someone who enjoyed undergrad Latin American history courses but still wanted to learn more about the subject, I had put the book right on the top of my "to-read" list. So when I received a copy of this book through the First Reads program, I couldn't have been happier.Make no mistake: Bolivar is a hefty, intense read. It weighs about as much as my cat and requires dedicated reading [...]

    5. Were there such a thing as an index of thanklessness, Simón Bolívar would no doubt earn one of the highest marks in history. Born immensely rich—in what is now Venezuela—he died destitute. He liberated much of South America from Spanish tyranny—an area larger than that of modern Europe—and for this he ended up hated and reviled by most of those he liberated. He freed everybody, including Native Americans and Blacks—when the North American revolution against the British most definitel [...]

    6. Although there are sixteen cities or counties named for Venezuelan-born Simón Bolívar in the United States -- including Bolivar (Jefferson County) WV -- the real Great Liberator -- the man behind the elaborate uniforms he's pictured in -- is not very well known in the United States. Marie Arana of The Washington Post remedies that in her masterful, comprehensive and very readable biography, "Bolívar: American Liberator." Even so, the military leader/politician's life and philosophy was so com [...]

    7. I noted a recent review of Bolivar, realized how little I knew of "The George Washington of South America," put it out on my Christmas wish list, and the most literary of my lovely granddaughters made my wish come true.Marie Arana's lively version of Simon Bolivar's life, a life with peaks high as the Andes' loftiest and as low as the valleys in between, sings with inspired prose and clarifies as tangled a web of alliances and betrayals as the history of any revolution in the world can offer. Bo [...]

    8. It was serendipity in the form of a New Releases mailer that brought this book to my attention. I've been curious about the famous South American "Liberator" for some time now, and, then, there it was featured by the awesome editorial team: a new biography!Bolívar led a pretty interesting life. The son of a very wealthy Venezuelan family, he lost both his parents and a brother very young. As an orphan, he was passed around from one relative to another, all of whom were more interested in his w [...]

    9. This was something of an impulse read in the sense that when I saw it on a table at a B&N I realized that I knew next to nothing about him or South American history. Additionally, I've often wondered about the seemingly unfulfilled potential for South America to be a major political and economic force globally. Certainly, they are rich in natural resources, and despite the pockets of extreme poverty, many South Americans are highly educated and creative. It turns out that the Balkanization t [...]

    10. The fight for independence in South America's was much more complex than that of the 13 colonies to the north. Despite the Spanish monarchy's ineffectiveness, it conferred great benefits the South American elite born on its soil and was rewarded with deep loyalty. In the North American Revolution, race was sidelined by a very restrictive slave system but South America had the more complex and entrenched caste system. Pedigree, including birth location (in the new world or the old) and blood (per [...]

    11. This is quite an amazing story. As Arana writes of Bolivar: "Never in the history of the Americas had one man so transformed so much territory, united so many races." Yet most of us know so little about this truly larger than life figure. He liberated an area larger than Europe from the choke of Spanish colonialism and abolished the institution of slavery in the process (unlike the North American experience.) He was an unlikely military genius, born slight and well to do, yet he formed armies fr [...]

    12. One of the finest (and most informative) biographies I have ever read. The letters to and from Bolivar, often written in what can only be described as poetry, cast a spell over you if you have any interest in what liberation and leadership meant to a genius who cared little for the accolades he received (and then were torn from him). You cannot discuss the histories of the Americas without putting Bolivar amongst the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Adamses and St. Martins. Even Bolivar's loves and enem [...]

    13. I actually stumbled upon this book thanks to the recommendations feature. My penchant for biographies and my near total ignorance on the rich history of South America made it a particularly appealing selection. Although this book strikes a rather reverential tone throughout, I was struck by the feeling that the same exact story could easily be spun to paint Bolivar in the most negative light possible. To quote the historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto: “The problem of getting inside Bolívar's [...]

    14. Learning more about the George Washington of South America has long been on my list of areas to explore. Maria Arana's book "Bolivar did not disappoint me, this is a superbly researched and written book. Not only where Bolivar's victories and defeats far bigger than Washington's his personal life was far more interesting as well. One of the key themes found throughout the liberation of Spanish America from Spain was persistence. The revolution first started with the upper class but failed due to [...]

    15. I read this for two reasons; first, I am generally ignorant of the world of my southern neighbors from whom we chauvinistically took the title "Americans"; second, I was going to the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and wanted some awareness of Bolivar ("Iron Ass" as he was known to his troops) and his efforts in creating Ecuador (Guayaquil was one locale for debarkation.Having read a series of "el presidente" novels by South American novelists and knowing US support of numerous right-wing tyrants, I [...]

    16. This is a fine biography of the Liberator, its author born in Lima but brought up in the USA. It tells the story briskly, in just the right amount of detail and with many intriguing nuggets of information. Bolívar's bones live again in the retelling of how the son of millionaires grew up playing in the Caracas backstreets with the children of artisans and slaves; how a young wastrel was brought back from the brink of dissolution by outdoor life and political discussion; how a small man with dai [...]

    17. I knew very little of Bolivar's life before reading this book and I very much appreciate the education it has given me. Arana's writing style is appealing and her research seems thorough. She uses just about the right amount of quotations in the book but I would have preferred a few more pictures as I found it difficult to imagine the scenes and the people of C19th Latin America. I wanted some basic information about the ethnic character of the different peoples and geography - what proportion w [...]

    18. There are some 2600+ volumes in the Library of Congress about Simon Bolivar. I’ve not read a one of them. In fact, even with a BA in history and some fifty years of additional reading since graduation, this is the first book I’ve ever read on South American history. Let me tell you, it’s not a pretty picture: murder, torture, treachery, skinnings, beheadings, flayings, rampaging ex-slaves, rabid Indians, cruel Spaniards, psychotic Creoles. And, that’s on a good day. What a mess? And what [...]

    19. This book is an absolute stunner! I couldn't put it down.There is so much to learn about the 300-year occupation of South America by Europeans, and a long and complicated fight for independence waged by a very uneasy union of Spanish creoles, mixed race people, and native Indians.It is Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose San Martin of Argentina who grow into living legends, and through skill and a healthy dose of fate, drive the Spanish out of South America. But there are many others in the cast [...]

    20. For being a Biography, this was actually a very smooth and enjoyable read. Most biographies tend to be dry and academic, this one had the integrity of such writings while still being enjoyable to someone not accustomed to reading this genre of writing. I thought Arana's comprehensive review of "The Liberator" did him justice. I've not read any other books on the man, but I thought her approach was both fair and balanced, neither idolizing the man, nor demonizing him for mistakes made during his [...]

    21. I find myself astonished at how little of the history of South America is taught in US schools. Virtually all of what I read in this book was new to me. The struggle for independence from Spain was far more complicated, messy, and brutal than the US experience with England, with a 'cast of characters' that ranged all over the world. An excellent book, but I should add the caveat that as a complete novice to the subject, I have no sense of how to gauge its scholarship or accuracy.

    22. A good detailed history for someone who knew little about Bolivar. The author clearly has respect for her subject. After hearing how this man, a generation removed from Jefferson and Washington, actually put his principles of freedom into action by freeing slaves and seeking to create an interracial society, I agree with her. Overall, I enjoyed it, although there is an odd anti Hugo Chavez rant at the end.

    23. I really enjoyed reading Bolivar: American Liberator and I would have given it a higher rating had Ms. Arana not brought up Hugo Chavez. With the way South America has been, he should have been the least of her concerns. Yes he tried a coup but was subsequently elected and had done much to improve the lived of the poor in Venezuela.

    24. Born in Quito, Ecuador, I learned about this great Liberator. Marie Arana has written a fabulously rich historical narrative about one of the most important revolutionaries in history. He liberated 6 countries!!!!!!! Interesting and well written. The research is excellent as well.

    25. Although very informative, this was a pretty tough slog. everyone, especially those in the Western hemisphere should understand why Bolivar is so revered in Latin America. Here you will find all you want to know, and more detail than you ever thought you needed.

    26. A competently written account of a fascinating man. The author's depictions of the brutality of the Spanish occupation, 1510-1810, explain much of South America's history, 1810-present.

    27. Bolivar: American LiberatorOne benefit of reviews is that a prospective buyer gets a variety of opinions to help the decision making process. Quotes from the “Editorial Reviews,” generally tend to be nothing more than publicity tools to hype book sales—their only value being the name attached to the quote; as such, they can easily be overlooked. Instead, reviews written by the very people who have bought and read the books tend to be more reliable, when deciding on the purchase of a book. [...]

    28. In her acknowledgements, Marie Arana explains this is her first historical work, after writing novels and other more popular literature, and not despite but thanks to this, she has written a fantastic biography that is both historically well researched and smooth to read. It probably makes it one of the better books out there for any and all who are interested in history, more specifically Simon Bolivar and the independence struggles of South America, but are often put off by the dry tone of aca [...]

    29. This is a long book at 468 pages of smallish text. It is told completely chronologically, following Bolívar’s life from his wealthy upbringing as in a Creole (white, South American born) family, his education in Europe, his multiple failed attempts to foment the overthrow of the Spanish colonial powers, his eventual success in multiple places all over South America over a period of just eleven years, and his inability to harness the ambitions or treachery of the officials and soldiers left in [...]

    30. "Bolivar: American Liberator" is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Latin America. Author Marie Arana writes an epic in every sense of the word.Simon Bolivar lived one of the most amazing lives of all time! He crossed the Andes in pursuit of the enemy, risked everything he had in life for the Independence cause, loved many women (who get a respectable amount of attention in this book), conquered half a continent, hated slavery, monarchy, and Spain’s colonial caste system [...]

    31. After listening to the podcast Revolutions by Mike Duncan (which you should absolutely listen to if you haven't), I had to read more about Simon Bolivar. He has such a fascinating story. He was so dedicated to his cause of liberation of all of Spanish America, and absolutely refused to give up. It sounds like a cliche, but it's absolutely true in Bolivar's case. He went off the rails a little bit towards the end, and died a pariah, but his desire to liberate his continent is inspiring. This book [...]

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