A nuanced and richly detailed narrative. . . . This well-researched and analytical case study of a Latin American coffee frontier makes valuable contributions to peasant studies, frontier studies, and the history of Latin American export agriculture. The book is rich in comparative insights, especially in relation to coffee-producing frontiers in brazil, Colombia, Central America, and Pureto Rico.
This study views the economic transformation of Duaca, Venezuela into a major coffee export center in the late nineteenth century. Yarrington examines the rise of the peasantry to prosperity, yet they later lost their stature as the local elite allied itself with the state to restructure society and coffee production on its own terms in the twentieth-century. The book is a pioneering study on peasant studies, export-led development, the relationship of state and society, and the consolidation of nation-states in Latin America.
A major contribution to our understanding of rural history in one of Latin America's thriving coffee production regions, especially in its treatment of peasants as active rather than passive participants in their own history.
Superbly researched, clearly written, and a substantial contribution to the fields of peasant studies and Latin American history.
This book is highly readable, engaging, and organized.
This study is especially strong in showing the direct link between political and economic power, and in demonstrating the role of peasants as actors in the shaping of their history. . . . [t]his is a significant study, showing a fascinating model of coffee production and adding to our understanding of the varied and complex arrangements that arose in Latin America's coffee boom.
Based on painstaking research in local notarial archives, this clearly written and cogently argued work contributes significantly to the bibliography on Latin American export agriculture and agrarian history. At the same time, it illuminates a critical period of Venezuelan political history.