The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela

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The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela

Fernando Coronil

2ndPublisher: University of Chicago PressFormat: Paperback

In 1935, after the death of dictator General Juan Vicente Gomez, Venezuela consolidated its position as the world's major oil exporter, establishing South America's longest-lasting democratic regime. Endowed with the power of state oil wealth, successive presidents appeared as transcendent figures who could magically transform Venezuela into a modern nation. During the 1974-78 oil boom, dazzling development projects promised to effect this transformation, yet now the state must struggle to appease its foreign creditors, counter a declining economy, and contain a discontented citizenry. In critical dialogue with contemporary social theory, this text examines key transformations in Venezuela's polity, culture and economy, recasting theories of development for other postcolonial nations.

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