In this compelling and comprehensive look at the rise of Evo Morales and Bolivia’s Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), Linda Farthing and Benjamin Kohl offer a thoughtful evaluation of the transformations ushered in by the western hemisphere’s first contemporary indigenous president. Accessible to all readers, Evo’s Bolivia not only charts Evo’s rise to power but also offers a history of and context for the MAS revolution’s place in the rising “pink tide” of the political left. Farthing and Kohl examine the many social movements whose agendas have set the political climate in Bolivia and describe the difficult conditions the administration inherited. They evaluate the results of Evo’s policies by examining a variety of measures, including poverty; health care and education reform; natural resources and development; and women’s, indigenous, and minority rights. Weighing the positive with the negative, the authors offer a balanced assessment of the results and shortcomings of the first six years of the Morales administration.
At the heart of this book are the voices of Bolivians themselves. Farthing and Kohl interviewed women and men in government, in social movements, and on the streets throughout the country, and their diverse backgrounds and experiences offer a multidimensional view of the administration and its progress so far. Ultimately the “process of change” Evo promised is exactly that: an ongoing and complicated process, yet an important example of development in a globalized world.
Linda C. Farthing is a writer and educator with twenty-five years of experience in Latin America as a solidarity activist, study-abroad director, field producer for films, and journalist/independent scholar.
Benjamin H. Kohl was Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University. They are coauthors of From the Mines to the Streets: A Bolivian Activist’s Life with Félix Muruchi and Impasse in Bolivia: Neoliberal Hegemony and Popular Resistance, as well as numerous articles. They live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Evo’s Bolivia is no doubt one of the most detailed and comprehensive assessments of Morales’s administration written to date. Its value lies in the authors’ capacity to contextualize the Bolivian experience regionally and globally, without losing sight of the country’s historical and social specificities. This work is an essential reference for those interested in studying the challenges and transformations of the Bolivian experiment that inspired global attention for attempting potential alternatives to capitalist development and colonialism."
—Jorge Derpic, NACLA Report on the Americas