The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Nov 10, 1997 - Business & Economics - 447 pages
In 1935, after the death of dictator General Juan Vicente Gómez, Venezuela consolidated its position as the world's major oil exporter and began to establish what today is South America's longest-lasting democratic regime. Endowed with the power of state oil wealth, successive presidents appeared as transcendent figures who could magically transform Venezuela into a modern nation. During the 1974-78 oil boom, dazzling development projects promised finally to effect this transformation. Yet now the state must struggle to appease its foreign creditors, counter a declining economy, and contain a discontented citizenry. In critical dialogue with contemporary social theory, Fernando Coronil examines key transformations in Venezuela's polity, culture, and economy, recasting theories of development and highlighting the relevance of these processes for other postcolonial nations. The result is a timely and compelling historical ethnography of political power at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary reflections on modernity and the state.

 

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Contents

The Magical State and Occidentalism i
7
General Juan Vicente Gomez with family and friends
19
Plaque commemorating the initiation of oil production
79
Students from the Generation of 28
98
The Gomez family mausoleum
114
General Marcos Perez Jimenez in front of his home in Spain
120
DEBUT
121
The Junta Revolucionaria de Gobierno
131
REVIVAL
205
Front page of El Nacional 23 January 1958
213
Carlos Andres Perez and his cabinet
236
Roberto Madero of the Ministry of Development
267
President Carlos Andres Perez and FANATRACTOs president
288
the empty factory
316
Gladys de Carmona displaying her husbands briefcases
322
Gladys de Carmona and Mayra Vernet de Molina
339

General Marcos Perez Jimenez receiving gifts
169
Mobilization against General Marcos Perez Jimenez
203
SEQUEL
365
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