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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $51.00
  • February 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91154-1
  • 400 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Born in Blood & Fire

A Concise History of Latin America

Third Edition


John Charles Chasteen (Author, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)


The most readable and highly regarded history of Latin America for our times.

Born in Blood and Fire spans six centuries and covers twenty countries in a compelling narrative of the Latin American experience, animated by stories about men and women from all walks of life and enriched by insightful analysis. This is a story of despair and hope, the processes of conquest and colonization, race mixing and class construction, revolution and republic formation, and the elusive quests for sustained economic growth and political and social equality. Nearly 100,000 copies sold!


Colorful, Engaging Narrative

Deeply knowledgeable about the geography, history, and culture of the region, Chasteen serves as the reader's guide as he ties together the history of more than twenty countries. Beginning with the Encounter and ending in our times, Chasteen exposes subtle nuances and introduces colorful characters through six centuries of history. 

Integrative Approach

Rather than a country-by-country approach, Chasteen uses a more integrative approach within a chronological outline. The eleven chapters are broken down into recognizable periods from 1492 to the present. Within the chapters, Chasteen shapes the narrative around Latin America's three largest countries: Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. The other seventeen countries are sprinkled throughout the text, serving as examples of variations on common themes throughout Latin American history. 

Short and Inexpensive

At 350 pages, Born in Blood and Fire is the most concise, up-to-date, and affordable history of Latin America on the market. 

Contemporary Scholarship

The mixing of races, the myriad of classes, and relations between men and women are folded into the political narrative that drives this book, making for a compelling and dynamic story. Born in Blood and Fire stands alone in its integration of these topics into the narrative. 

Updated for the Third Edition

Updates to this edition include:
Chapter 3—Increased coverage of the colonial material.
Chapter 8—Refined coverage of nationalism; nuances are explored around specific regions.
Chapter 9—Expanded coverage of the Cuban Revolution.
Chapter 11—Fully up-to-date on current political issues and economic policy; discussion of migratory issues in a hemispheric context.

New Companion Reader

Born in Blood and Fire: Latin American Voices is designed to complement the main text. It follows the table of contents of the main text and is built around compelling, historical narrative accounts of life and society across Latin American history, drawing on newspapers, novels, magazines, and journals—many of which are translated by John Chasteen. 

    Chapter 1: First Stop, the Present
    Chapter 2: Encounter
    Chapter 3: Colonial Crucible
    Chapter 4: Independence
    Chapter 5: Postcolonial Blues
    Chapter 6: Progress
    Chapter 7: Neocolonialism
    Chapter 8: Nationalism
    Chapter 9: Revolution
    Chapter 10: Reaction
    Chapter 11: Neoliberalism