- Author: Marie Arana
- Genre: biography
- Title: Bolivar: American Liberator
- Published: (2013)
- Table of Contents: 18 chapters, 468
- Timeline: 1783 – 1830
- Setting: South America
- Trivia: M. Arana won the LA Times Book Award biography 2014.
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly reading plan
- Bolivar was compared to Napoleon or Julius Caesar.
- But Bolivar realized that he could unite South America
- …freed of Spanish rule, but could not unite the South Americans.
- He had to take drastic steps: Bolivar declared himself ‘dictator’
- …in August 1828 due to growing internal conflicts among his commanders.
- As Bolivar said: “No one achieves greatness with impunity:
- No one escapes the fangs of envy along the way”. (pg 406)
- There were several assassination attempts
- …thought to be instigated by his old friend, and commander F. Santander.
- Bolivar used psychological warfare, surprise,
- …deception and fear to defeat his enemies.
- But he could not defeat his last foe
- ….he succumbed to tubercleosis in 1830 at the age of 47 years old.
Strong point: Bolivar reads like a great novel!
Strong point: Epilogue: great summation with references to modern South America.
- This was not a boring biography.
- Marie Arana is first and foremost a
- talented writer and knows how to create
- ….a book that would capture the reader’s attention.
- She has succeeded in melting all the biographical facts
- …about the American Liberator into a unique mold.
- The result is a ‘bronze bell’ named ‘Bolivar’ whose
- …tremendous sound resonated across
- …the South American continent.
- I was surprised that Bolivar read Voltaire, Locke,
- Montesquieu and his hero Rousseau instead of theorists of war:
- Prussian Von Clausewitz (1780-1831) or French Jomini (1779-1869).
- Bolivar was a child of The Enlightenment.
- The only way I can sum him is to refer to John Locke’s book
- An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,
- …page 220 where Locke discusses ‘power’.
- Bolivar saw that the countries in his beloved South America
- …were just spokes in a wheel all pointing to the hub, Spain.
- He felt that there was the possibility of making this simple idea change.
- And so we come to the idea that Locke explained as: ‘power’.
- Bolivar had this ‘power’:
- “thus we say, fire has a power to melt gold,
- …to destroy the consistency of its insensible parts and
- …consequently its hardness and make it fluid.” (Locke)
Bolivar: History of liberated South America …. is not for the fainthearted.
What a man…he could outride, outwit and outfight any enemy!
#SurgicalStrikes and countless stragagems later Bolivar is not afraid to take up the pen….
#ManInLove with Manuela…
#ReadMoreBiography Blood trickles down the roads, heads roll out from under the bushes. This is not magical realism… this is history!