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  • We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution

    Author(s): George Ciccariello-Maher
    Contributor(s): Jeff St. Andrews
    Published: 2013
    Pages: 352
    Illustrations: 17 photographs, 1 map
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  • Acknowledgments  ix
    Map of Venezuela  xii
    Introduction. What People? Whose History?  1
    1. A Guerrilla History  22
    2. Reconnecting with the Masses  45
    3. Birth of the "Tupamaros"  67
    First Interlude. The Caracazo: History Splits in Two  88
    4. Sergio's Blood: Student Struggles from the University to the Streets  105
    5. Manuelita's Boots: Women between Two Movements  126
    6. JoséLeonardo's Body and the Collapse of Mestizaje  146
    Second Interlude. Every Eleventh Has Its Thirteenth  166
    7. Venezuelan Workers: Aristocracy or Revolutionary Class?  180
    8. Oligarchs Tremble! Peasant Struggles at the Margins of the State  200
    9. A New Proletariat? Informal Labor and the Revolutionary Streets  218
    Conclusion. Dual Power against the Magical State  234
    Notes  257
    Index  307
  • Jeff St. Andrews

  • “Ciccariello-Maher’s history of the Venezuelan left is essential to understanding the Chávez era.” — Dorothy Kronick, The New Republic


  • “Ciccariello-Maher’s history of the Venezuelan left is essential to understanding the Chávez era.” — Dorothy Kronick, The New Republic

  • "We Created Chávez provides a systematic, bottom-up approach to Venezuelan politics from 1958 to the present. It offers a much-needed new perspective on Hugo Chávez's rise to power. Writing in a lively style and demonstrating a thorough command of the issues and personalities in recent Venezuelan history, George Ciccariello-Maher has produced a book essential to understanding the phenomenon of 'Chavismo,' which has attracted widespread interest throughout the world."—Steve Ellner, author of Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Conflict, and the Chávez Phenomenon

    "In the United States, accounts of Venezuela have been fixated on the figure of Hugo Chávez. We Created Chávez breaks with this obsession, instead showing the dynamic and contradictory relationship that exists between Venezuela's president and the social forces that gave rise to and sustain the government. It is required reading for anyone wishing to understand the internal dynamics of social change underway in Venezuela today."—Miguel Tinker Salas, author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela

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  • Description

    Since being elected president in 1998, Hugo Chávez has become the face of contemporary Venezuela and, more broadly, anticapitalist revolution. George Ciccariello-Maher contends that this focus on Chávez has obscured the inner dynamics and historical development of the country’s Bolivarian Revolution. In We Created Chávez, by examining social movements and revolutionary groups active before and during the Chávez era, Ciccariello-Maher provides a broader, more nuanced account of Chávez’s rise to power and the years of activism that preceded it.

    Based on interviews with grassroots organizers, former guerrillas, members of neighborhood militias, and government officials, Ciccariello-Maher presents a new history of Venezuelan political activism, one told from below. Led by leftist guerrillas, women, Afro-Venezuelans, indigenous people, and students, the social movements he discusses have been struggling against corruption and repression since 1958. Ciccariello-Maher pays particular attention to the dynamic interplay between the Chávez government, revolutionary social movements, and the Venezuelan people, recasting the Bolivarian Revolution as a long-term and multifaceted process of political transformation.

    About The Author(s)

    George Ciccariello-Maher is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drexel University.