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ISBN:1416559116
Author: Chesa Boudin
ISBN13: 978-1416559115
Title: Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America
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ePUB size: 1513 kb
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Language: English
Category: Politics and Government
Publisher: Scribner (April 14, 2009)
Pages: 240

Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America by Chesa Boudin



This was a very interesting book about a young man's travels in Latin America (beginning as a foreign exchange student in high school), and how his worldview changed as he lived outside the United States. Chesa becomes interested in politics, and as he graduates from high school and then college, he takes different jobs in Latin American countries that help him understand the politics and culture

The personal story is unflinchingly honest, and the political judgments nuanced and thoughtful. Latin America is at the outer edge of consciousness in this country, and Chesa Boudin brings it back to our attention, eloquently and vigorously. I have just finished the last chapter of Chesa Boudin's book Gringo: Coming of Age in Latin America and I am sorry it has ended. I tried to stretch it out over a week to savor each chapter and visualize his travels, but I was unable to stop reading. It is a beauifully written story of his respect for Latin America, it's history and it's people. I admire Boudin's decision to travel by bus everywhere he went so he could travel with the locals, see the scenery, stop at small villages, despite the discomfort of traveling as many as 50 hours by bus.

Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America. Gringo charts two journeys, both of which began a decade ago. The first is the sweeping transformation of Latin American politics that started with Hugo Chávez's inauguration as president of Venezuela in 1999

Boudin’s travelogue, Gringo: A Coming-of-Age in Latin America, is not about his parents, nor about growing up as far-left aristocracy. It is instead about the decade he spent crisscrossing South America, during summer vacations, semesters off, whenever he could. But his radical-chic background lingers like wood smoke or dense fog on each of this book’s 226 pages

Gringo charts two journeys, both of which began a decade ago. The first is the sweeping transformation of Latin American politics that started with Hugo Chávez's inauguration as president of Venezuela in 1999. In that same year, an eighteen-year-old Chesa Boudin leaves his middle-class Chicago life - which is punctuated by prison visits to his parents, who were incarcerated when he was fourteen months old for their role in a politically motivated bank truck robbery - and arrives in Guatemala

Boudin weaves a fascinating travel memoir that seamlessly transitions between historical background, personal reflection, and rich narrative. His glimpses into national, race, and class identity in different parts of Latin America are poignant, blunt, and highly readable. He offers balanced positions on political backdrops without apologizing for his radical and progressive roots.

A Coming of Age in Latin America. The right aspires to dominate it. The left sees it as a means to justify ideological ends. Eventually, Boudin admits, the American left is the real destination of his journey. I came to see Latin America," he writes, "as a prism through which I could better understand my own roots in the radical left in the United States, and the role my country plays in a global society.

Purchase the brilliant Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America by Scribner online today. While a new generation of progress-ive Latin American leaders rises to power, Boudin crisscrosses twenty-seven countries throughout the Americas.

Chesa Boudin talked about his life as a young adult in Venezuela when Hugo Chavez came to power. Chesa Boudin is the author of Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America, published by Scribner. Chesa Boudin talked about his life as a young adult in Venezuela when Hugo Chavez came to power. His parents are former members of the Weather Underground, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert. As such he grew up in an environment of extreme left wing politics. Using this background, he studied the political and economic situation in Central and South America  . See all on Book TV Central America South America. Venezuelan Vote on President Chavez.

Gringo charts two journeys, both of which began a decade ago. The first is the sweeping transformation of Latin American politics that started with Hugo Chávez's inauguration as president of Venezuela in 1999. In that same year, an eighteen-year-old Chesa Boudin leaves his middle-class Chicago life -- which is punctuated by prison visits to his parents, who were incarcerated when he was fourteen months old for their role in a politically motivated bank truck robbery -- and arrives in Guatemala. He finds a world where disparities of wealth are even more pronounced and where social change is not confined to classroom or dinner-table conversations, but instead takes place in the streets.

While a new generation of progress-ive Latin American leaders rises to power, Boudin crisscrosses twenty-seven countries throughout the Americas. He witnesses the economic crisis in Buenos Aires; works inside Chávez's Miraflores palace in Caracas; watches protestors battling police on September 11, 2001, in Santiago; descends into ancient silver mines in Potosí; and travels steerage on a riverboat along the length of the Amazon. He rarely takes a plane when a fifteen-hour bus ride in the company of unfettered chickens is available.

Including incisive analysis, brilliant reportage, and deep humanity, Boudin's account of this historic period is revelatory. It weaves together the voices of Latin Americans, some rich, most poor, and the endeavors of a young traveler to understand the world around him while coming to terms with his own complicated past. The result is a marvelous mixture of coming-of-age memoir and travelogue.

Reviews: 7
Abandoned Electrical
The book moves a little slow but I enjoyed reading about his travels. I received the book for a gift and I would not have purchased it if I had previously read it.
Danial
I rarely give out five stars for a book but I almost did here. Well written and intelligent but not pretentious or academic description of travel through Latin America. Amazing stories of being in Colombian jungles and the presidential palace in Venezuela. I find books such as this are rarely objective and Latin America is viewed through an American or European lens but he does a very good job of keeping an open mind. He has leftist ideals but isn't a cheerleader that just praises all leftist leaders. He asks questions and offers criticisms as well. I definitely would like to check out other books by this author.
Anardred
Chesa the young traveller is riding buses up and down rocky, mountainous terrain filled with Latino and Latina locals, and their babies and chickens, saving money and appreciating the difference between his life at home as an American student from a comfortable family, and the life of the Latin Americans he travels with and comes to know. His experience is deepened by his intensive study of the history of the U.S. in Latin America, and the attempts by Venezuielans and others to take hold of their own history and their national destiny. He throws his lot in with them but with some distance and perspective, and the book brings home the lessons and possibilities of real friendships and solidarity with Latin America.
I have given this book to many, many friends. Young friends love this book, take its lessons to heart, think critically about their own privileged lives in this country, and pack their backpacks and take to the road. Older readers love the unique perspective and the compelling tale.
zzzachibis
I read this book for my book club. I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot about politics and problems in South America. I live in Ecuador and plan to read more about the politics and problems caused by the USA in South America.
Vareyma
Descriptive of the traditions and culture of the Latin American people coupled with honest expository comment on the wonders of both the geography and Latin governments, Boudin leads us through a chapter in his life where personal growth not only continues into a third decade, but accelerates to warp speed as he takes in everything around him with the clarity of an intellectual many years his senior. Read him now so you know him when he becomes an important part of the fabric of the US as it learns to appreciate rather than exploit it's neighbors to the south.
Delagamand
Well written analysis of Latin American politics during the current decade with a different perspective then we usually hear. Insightful and enjoyable to read.
Vuzahn
The book is engaging, full of information and a rarity. Very valuable for someone looking for information about current events in South America.
I have just finished the last chapter of Chesa Boudin's book Gringo: Coming of Age in Latin America and I am sorry it has ended. I tried to stretch it out over a week to savor each chapter and visualize his travels, but I was unable to stop reading. It is a beauifully written story of his respect for Latin America, it's history and it's people.

I admire Boudin's decision to travel by bus everywhere he went so he could travel with the locals, see the scenery, stop at small villages, despite the discomfort of traveling as many as 50 hours by bus. Something few of us do today. We are in such a hurry to get to our destination. He was fortunate to have the time to travel this way. Boudin chose to travel with strangers, who often became friends.

I feel as if I have just traveled throughout Latin America with Boudin. I highly recommend you give a gift to yourself and buy this book.