Liberators: Latin America's Struggle for Independence, 1810-1830

TitleLiberators: Latin America's Struggle for Independence, 1810-1830
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHarvey, Robert
Number of Pages561
PublisherJohn Murray

In this volume, the author reconstructs in vivid detail the gripping story of Latin America's independence and those who made it possible. Treated with contempt by their Spanish overlords, given to dissipation and grandiose proclamations, these fearless men nonetheless achieved military feats unsurpassed elsewhere in history. Francisco de Miranda impressed both George Washington and Catherine the Great, narrowly escaped the guillotine in revolutionary France, and became dictator of Venezuela before capture and death in a Spanish gaol. The aristocratic Simón Bolívar led his guerrilla armies through swamp, jungle, and Andean ice to surprise his enemies and liberate most of northern South America. The inarticulate San Martín joined Bernardo O'Higgins, illegitimate son of a Spanish viceroy, to do the same in the south. These and three others waged the war for freedom against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, the American Revolution, the collapse of the Spanish Empire, and the revolutionary ferment of the nineteenth century. Despite the success of their revolutions, all seven liberators died in poverty, disgrace, or oblivion. This fascinating and dramatic story takes in a vast range of martial experience, from butchery in the torrid Orinoco basin to a cavalry fought with lances 13,000 feet up in the mountains of Peru. It is one of the greatest and least-known epics of history, told here in unprecedented detail.

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