Cover: Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America, from Harvard University PressCover: Coffee and Power in PAPERBACK

Coffee and Power

Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America

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Product Details


$37.00 • £29.95 • €33.50

ISBN 9780674136496

Publication Date: 01/13/1998


448 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 figures, 11 tables


A sweeping historical analysis of the encouraging yet still fragile emergence of democracy in Central America… Through exhaustive historical research and enterprising interviews, [the author] penetrates the worlds of the most powerful families of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica… Paige has illuminated a path for comprehending countries whose histories have often been caricatured by polemicists and ignored by policy makers.—Thomas Carothers, The New York Times Book Review

The main lesson from this thoughtful, well-written book: if coffee is grown with less repression, with social welfare programs, with more owned by small-holders, then the poor are less likely to join revolutions… [Paige’s conclusions] are reasonable and it is important to have them documented in this fair, well-researched book. This book will appeal to people interested in the history of Central America, to students of peace and war, to scholars of coffee economics and politics, and to political ecologists.—Jeffery W. Bentley, Agriculture and Human Values

Coffee and Power makes an important contribution to the literature on transitions to democracy. Paige notes with irony that the establishment of parliamentary democracies may represent the most important achievement of the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan Left of the 1980s, as it was for the Costa Rican Left of the 1930s and 1940s.—Laurie Medina, American Anthropologist

A detailed, comprehensive work on the complex relationship between coffee and political and financial might in this region… Coffee is evidently not the sole influence propelling these nations along the democratic path, but this volume demonstrates how ideologies and crises are interrelated, an important factor for a region with such an uncertain political future.British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain

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