First published in Chile in 1969 as Interpretación del desarrollo social centroamericano, this classic is now available in English. The first attempt at an integrated analysis of modern Central America's socioeconomic structure, Torres Rivas's work traces the social development of Central America from independence (1871) up to the 1960s.
Using a dependency framework, but not limited by it, Torres Rivas describes the various divisions of Central American society and their evolution within the liberal development model that has been so much a part of the past century of Central American economic history. The book is compelling in its explanation of the relationship between foreign and native elements in the social development of the region. Torres Rivas describes and analyzes the resulting long-term problems this development has posed for Central America. With a new chapter added for the English edition, History and Society in Central America remains vital for readers interested in the region.
- Foreword by Victor Bulmer-Thomas
- Translator’s Foreword
- Introduction to the 1969 Edition
- 1. Anarchy
- 2. The Liberal Republic
- 3. The Decline of the Agro-Export Society and the World Crisis of 1930
- 4. The Difficult Transition: World Depression and Postwar Growth
- 5. The New Option: Central American Economic Integration
- 6. In the Eye of the Storm, 1979–1991
“It is undoubtedly the most important single volume published by a Central American social scientist in [the twentieth] century. . . Its translation into English is long overdue.”
Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., Chair, Department of History, Tulane University