An essential reference for comprehensive and detailed coverage of Latin American history, this book is divided into three parts: Part I, a descriptive chronology of key event from pre-Columbian times to the present; Part II, a thematic survey of topics, tracing population expansion, legal/political development, economic change, social evolution, science and technology, and cultural development across time; Part III, a biographical section containing over 300 biographies of individuals introduced in earlier sections of the book. Meticulously indexed and cross-referenced, this accessible resource also includes more than thirty historical maps.
Shlapentokh undertakes a dispassionate analysis of the ordinary functioning of the Soviet system from Stalin's death through the Soviet collapse and Russia's first post-communist decade. Without overlooking its repressive character, he treats the USSR as a "normal" system that employed both socialist and nationalist ideologies for the purposes of technological and military modernization, preservation of empire, and expansion of its geopolitical power. Foregoing the projection of Western norms and assumptions, he seeks to achieve a clearer understanding of a civilization that has perplexed its critics and its champions alike.