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Beginning in the year Uruguayans elected a different party into government for the first time in nearly a century, the author examines intellectuals' role in the Uruguayan left's drive toward unity and effectiveness.
Discussion focuses on fragmentation and impotence on the left; frustrated attempts at left unity in the 1960s; the creation of the centre-left Broad Front in 1971; and the defeat of all left endeavours and all dialogue in the 1973 military coup -- a prelude to a twelve-year dictatorship in which the military substituted themselves for intellectuals.
The story continues in 1985, reversing the earlier trend in a record of dispersal and diversity.
The author details the initial post-authoritarian anarchic cultural outburst -- part celebration, part frustration; intellectuals' role in the disputes that accompanied the Broad Front's move from democratic socialism to social democracy, and from opposition to government in 2004; and recent excursions into the long-standing Uruguayan obsession with its identity and viability as an independent nation.
This book is essential reading for all those interested in interplay between intellectuals and politics in Latin America; changes in the Latin American left since the 1960s; and the leftward drift of elected governments in the Southern Cone.
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