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Latin America and the Enlightenment

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This is a historic book that was initially written in 1942, but due to a lot of its content’s demand and the other important things, it had to be rewritten again to quench its demand. Therefore, Arthur Whitaker took that responsibilities and incorporated several other historical concepts that are related to the Latin Americans. It must be emphasized that the new edition is deeper and covers a wide range of topics and concepts related to the Latin American history. It covers the period from the colonial days, when the Europeans dominated, to the current times, when technology is strongly embraced in America. Hence, the ultimate aim of this context is to examine the content of the book, analyze it, and issue the authors’ credentials concerning the book. It also evaluates the knowledge contributed by the book to the readers where it provides the advantages and the importance of its role in American history. This paper also compares this book and the other books that talk about similar issue as well as specify the target audience of the book.

Review of the Book and Author’s Credentials

Latin America and the Enlightenment is the second edition of the original work which Arthur Whitaker published in 1969. The book covers several important concepts in the history of the Latin Americans beginning from the ancient times when the European colonials dominated the country (Whitaker 289). These people were too strong to be defeated because they were the first who initiated technology and had the powerful tools to shutter the Americans. The book provides a well and precise description of how the Latin Americans acquired independence and how they began to organize themselves and to develop the country (Bradford 102). Its development, however, was somehow slow because the knowledge of the Europeans had blinded their visions. Nevertheless, the period of the 18th century represents the period of the progression in America and the beginning of Enlightenment. Moreover, it was the time when they began to initiate their own scheme and to run their own government. From there, several developments were noted in the nation, although the Latin Americans seemed to be inferior from the other groups of the white Americans. This history is significant and has to be very valuable to the Latin Americans who should be aware of their foundations.

Contribution to Knowledge

Latin America and the Enlightenment is a very important book in the society with a lot of knowledge to impact its readers.  The book was keenly written and impacted maximum knowledge predominantly in the sense that when an individual reads it, he or she is able to comprehend the history of America’s right from the colonial to the technological times (Whitaker 333). It provides a critical description of what happened during the fight for independence and the eventual moment of independence. It clearly highlights how technology was incorporated in America as well as how important inventions were initiated. It talks about how computers were advanced to become multitasking and help in inventing the other significant things like airplanes. That was the time when the significant machines were also invented among them being the industrial production machines, the hospital surgical machines and several others (Bradford 108). Therefore, this book is full of knowledge and is able to enlighten the reader. In order to comprehend the American history, one has to read it repeatedly as it is very interesting. Its influence is what made people push the book to be edited to cover the rest of history that occurred after 1942 when the original work was done (Whitaker 323). If it was not crucial and knowledgeable, the demand for the second edition could not be there.

Comparisons with the Other Works

There is no doubt that Latin America and the Enlightenment is the best book that covers all concepts of the Latin American history. For example, the book was done in essays’ form where each essay contains different historical concepts. Besides, the book has provided the room for essays written by the other individuals; thus, it acts as an umbrella of the Latin Americas history (Bradford 129). These concepts and techniques are not observed in a book like Latin American History written by Barnes and Noble. It should be noted that the Latin American History is also a good historical book but it does not go as deep into the history as Latin America and the Enlightenment did. Moreover, when Latin America and the Enlightenment is compared to another book like The Penguin History of Latin America by Edwin Williamson, it still becomes vital and the best because Williamson covered the history comprehensible where he only touched on some issues and never went deep into details. For example, the concept of Latin American culture is not deeply outlined; he only touched on it as his objective was to incorporate the culture to his themes. However, the Latin America and the Enlightenment talks about the types of Latin Americans’ food, clothing they used to wear, their traditional political and warrior songs songs (Whitaker 456). Therefore, this book is superb and deserves to be demanded by the Latin Americans because it is the only complete source of their history.

The Intended Audience

The indented audience for this book is generally all the Latin Americans and historians from all over the world. The audience may also be the scholars studying history from the different perspectives who must also cover the Latin American history. There is no doubt that all the Latin Americans who are literate and love their background must go through this book to be familiar with what happened in the ancient times. Historians must read this book so that they have a wide view of different people’ histories in the world. For example, a historian in Europe must comprehend all the nations they colonized and view the different forms used in different nations. They cannot fail to cover the Latin American history because it is one of the best histories in the world. Therefore, historians are not exceptions when it comes to the audience’s selection of the book. Moreover, all the history students particularly in the United States of America cannot miss to read this book because it is the background of their studies. There is no way that the American history can be ignored in its own country. Besides, all the history assignments and exams in the United States must test the concepts of the Latin Americans proving that the history students in the United States must read the book. In fact, it is not optional; it is an obligation that they read it because if they do not, they will definitely fail their exams as all the tests include the Latin American history. 

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