This book considers Ecuador's early history, emphasizing the importance of patterns imposed by regionalism and structured by the nation's colonial heritage. It helps the reader to understand some of the apparent continuities and contradictions characterizing Ecuador's political and economic changes.
1. Introduction 2. Spanish Conquest and the Making of the Republic 3. Exports and Politics: From Cacao to Bananas 4. The Politics of Limited Participation: Populist Experiments and the Role of the Military 5. Black Gold: The Petroleum Boom 6. The Military Returns to Power 7. Democratic Politics and Economic Austerity 8. Patterns of Continuity Amidst Change: Prospects for the Future