Imagined Communities

Brilliant theory of nationalism by the recently deceased Benedict Anderson, professor of political-science at Cornell. He uses historical examples to argue that printing, mapping, and independence in Latin America began to give people the sense of themselves as part of a larger community, or "nation."


Assigned Readings

Victors and Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico

(Stuart Schwartz)


Railroads, Landholding, and Agrarian Protest                                         

In Two Parts

Fascist Ideologies


A People's History of the World (Chris Harman)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's


Primary Sources on Atlantic Slave Trade

adam Smith's


Class Antagonism in England



  • World Civilizations (Stearns, et al.)

  • The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History (Bulliet, et al.)

  • A People's History of the World (Chris Harman)

  • A History of the Modern Middle East (Cleveland and Bunton) 

  • Before European Hegemony: The World System, 1250-1350 (Janet Abu-Lughod)

  • Cross Cultural Trade in World History (Philip Curtin) 

  • Capital, Volume 1 (Karl Marx)

  • Marx at the Margins (Kevin Anderson) 

  • Peasant Wars of the 20th Century (Eric Wolff) 

  • Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (James Scott) 

  • Seeing Like a State (James Scott) 

  • Heroes (John Pilger) 

  • A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Power) 

  • Planet of Slums (Mike Davis)

  • The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein)

European Imperialism and Colonialism

  • Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (Frederick Cooper)

  • Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World, 1492-1640 (Patricia Seed) 

  • The Making of New World Slavery (Robin Blackburn)

  • Racism: A Short History (Frederickson) 

  • The Colonizer and the Colonized (Memmi) 

  • Indentured Labor in the Age of Imperialism (Jeremy Northrup) 

  • Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology and Ideologies of Western Dominance (Michael Adas)

  • The Social World of Batavia: European and Eurasian in the Dutch Asia (Jean Taylor)

  • European Womern and the Second British Empire (Margaret Strobel)

  • The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (Jonathan Spence)

  • Orientalism (Edward Said) 

  • Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India (Bernard Cohn)


Modern European History

A Social History of Western Europe: 1450-1720 (Sheldon Watts) 

Lord and Peasant in Russia: From the 9th to the 19th Century (Leon Blum) 

The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)

Becoming Revolutionaries: The Deputies of the National Assembly and the 

Emergence of Revolutionary Culture, 1789-1790 (Timothy Tackett)

The French Revolution, volumes 1 and 2 (Georges Lefebvre) 

The Wheels of Commerce: Civilization and Capitalism, 15th to 18th Centuries

(Fernand Braudel) 

Capital, Volume 1 (Karl Marx) 

The French Revolution, volumes 1 and 2 (Georges Lefebvre) 

The Village In the Nation: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1848-1914 (Keely Stauter-Halsted) 

The European Revolutions, 1848-1851 (Jonathan Sperber)

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seaman, Pirates and the

Anglo-American Maritime World, 1750-1750 (Marcus Rediker)

Moral Capital: The Foundations of British Abolitionism (Chris Brown)

Peaceful Conquest: The Industrialization of Europe (Pollard) 

The Making of the English working class (E.P. Thompson) 

The Condition of the Working Class in England (Frederich Engels) 

Age of Capital, Age of Empire, and Age of Revolution (Eric Hobsbawm)

Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914 (Eugen Weber)


Model of a Portuguese Caravel, the vessel which allowed the Portuguese to begin European global exploration and commercial activity. This technology precipitated the European colonial era, during which Europeans would use their seagoing advantages to extract wealth, resources, and human labor from distant points on the globe.

Post World War I

  • The Origins of the First World War (James Jolls) 

  • Politics and Diplomacy of Peace-Making, 1918-1919 (Arno Mayer) 

  • How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945 (Victoria de Grazia) 

  • The Unfinished Peace After WWI: America, Britain, and the Stabilisation of Europe, 1919-1932 (Patrick Cohrs) 

  • The Coming of the Third Reich (Richard Evans) 

  • Germans Into Nazis (Peter Fritzsche) 

  • A History of Fascism (Stanley Payne) 

  • The Spanish Labyrinth: The Social and Political Background of the Spanish Civil War (Gerald Brennan)

  • The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years, 1868-1936 (Murray Bookchin)

  • Blood of Spain: An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War (Ronald Fraser) 

  • The Revolution and Civil War in Spain (Pierre Broue and Emile Temime) 

  • The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, and Revenge (Paul Preston)

  • The Third Reich in Power (Richard Evans)

  • Prison Notebooks (Antonio Gramsci, edited by Smith + Hoare)

  • A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Kate Brown) 


  • Imagined Communities (Benedict Anderson) 

  • The Invention of Tradition (Hobsbawm and Ranger) 

  • Nations and Nationalism (Ernest Gellner)

Capital, Marx.jpg


by Karl Marx, published in 1867 after years of research and writing. Probably the most important analysis of how modern capitalism actually functions.

Labor and Socialist Movements and Russian Revolution

  • Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life (Jonathan Sperber)

  • The Second International, 1889-1914 (James Joll) 

  • Labour and Socialist Movements in Europe Before 1914 (Dick Geary)

  • The Paris Commune (David Shafer) 

  • 1905 (Leon Trotsky) 

  • Wild Socialism: Workers Councils in Revolutionary Berlin, 1918-1921 (Martin Comack)

  • German Social Democracy, 1905-1917: The Development of the Great Schism (Carl Schorske) 

  • A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: The Autobiography of Semen Ivanovich Kanathikov (Reginald Zelnick) 

  • Roots of Rebellion: Workers’ Politics and Organizations in St. Petersburg and Moscow, 1900-1914 (Victoria Bonnell) 

  • The Rise of Social Democracy in Russia (J.L.H Keep)

  • Lenin and the Revolutionary Party (Paul Le Blanc)

  • The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd (Alexander Rabinowitch)

  • History of the Russian Revolution (Leon Trotsky) 

  • Year One of the Russian Revolution (Victor Serge) 

  • The Bolsheviks in Power: The First Year of Soviet Rule in Petrograd (Alexander Rabinowitch) 

  • The Russian Revolution - (Sheila Fitzpatrick)

  • The Russian Revolution, 1917-1918 (volume 1) and

  • The Russian Revolution, 1918-1921 (volume 2) by (William Henry Chamberlin) 

  • Stalin: A Political Biography (Isaac Deutscher) 

  • The Russian Revolution: From Lenin to Stalin (E.H. Carr)

  • The German Revolution, 1917-1923 (Pierre Broue)

  • The Making of the Soviet System: Essays in the Social History of Interwar Russia (Moshe Lewin) 

  • Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution (Stephen Cohen) 

  • The Cultural Front: Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia (Sheila Fitzpatrick)

  • Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as Civilization (Stephen Kotkin) 

  • The Great Terror: A Reassessment and 

  • Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (Robert Conquest)

Conquest and Colonial Era Latin America


Library of Congress map entitled "Map of South America, According to the Latest and Best Authorities". This was in 1826, less than 5 years after most of the continent had gained its independence from Spain and Portugal.


Colonial street in Potosi, Bolivia, one of Spain's richest "new world" cities. In the background is Cerro Rico, the "rich hill," where millions of indigenous were worked to death during the colonial era, and where Spain mined much of the silver that made it a world power in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. 

  • Latin America: A Concise, Interpretive History (E. Bradford Burns)

  • Latin American, Conflict and Creation: An Historical Reader (Burns) 

  • Born in Blood and Fire (Chasteen) 

  • The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (Eduardo Galeano) 

  • The Latin American City (Gilbert) 

  • A History of Brazil (Burns) 

  • Cuba (Louis Perez) 

  • Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil (Lockhart and Schwartz) 

  • Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico (Leon-Portilla)

  • Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Inga Clendennin) 

  • Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians, 1500-1760 (John Hemming)

  • The Nahuas After the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, 16th-18th Centuries (James Lockhart) 

  • Spanish Peru: 1532-1560 (Lockhart) 

  • Peru's Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640 (Steven Stern)

  • The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720 (Douglas Cope) 

  • Hall of Mirrors: Power, Witchcraft, and Caste in Colonial Mexico (Lewis) 

  • Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713) (Richard Dunn) 

  • The Golden Age of Brazil (C.R. Boxer)

  • Slaves, Peasants and Rebels (Stuart Schwartz) 

  • Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550-1835 (Stuart Schwartz)

  • Rebecca's Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World (Jon Sensbach) 

  • Women in Colonial Latin America (Susan Socolow) 

  • The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (C.L.R. James) 

  • Maroon Societies in the Americas (Price - newest edition) 

  • The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex - (Curtin)


Post-Independence, 19th Century

Modern, 20th Century to Present

  • A Hemisphere to Itself (Frank Nies) 

  • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 (David McCullough) 

  • Indentured Labor in the Age of Imperialism (Jeremy Northrup) 

  • Zapata and the Mexican Revolution (John Womack) 

  • Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron (Fraser and Navarro) 

  • Modernization and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism (O'Donnell)

  • Getulio Vargas: Father of the Poor (Levine) 

  • Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus (Carolina Maria de Jesus) 

  • Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (John Lee Anderson)

  • Motorcycle Diaries (Ernesto "Che" Guevara) 

  • Diary of the Revolutionary War (Ernesto "Che" Guevara)

  • Guerilla Movements in Latin America (Richard Gott) 

  • Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (Walter LaFeber) 

  • Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (Schlesinger and Kinzer)

  • Weavers of the Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile's Road to Socialism (Peter Winn)

  • The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability (Peter Kornblugh) 

  • Cuba: Dilemmas of a Revolution (Juan M. del Aguila) 

  • Hear My Testimony: Maria Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador Maria Teresa Tula and Lynn Stephen) 

  • I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala (Rigoberta Menchu) 

  • Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America (Tina Rosenberg) 

  • Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980's (Martha Honey) 

  • The Workers Party and Democratization in Brazil (Margaret Keck)

  • Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil (Nancy Scheper-Hughes) 

  • The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now (Alma Guillermoprieto)

  • Savages (Joe Kane) 

  • The People Decide: Oaxaca's Popular Assembly (Nancy Davies)

  • We Alone Will Rule: Native Andean Politics in the Age of Insurgency (Sinclair Thomson)

  • Slaves, Peasants and Rebels (Stuart Schwartz) 

  • Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550-1835 (Stuart Schwartz)

  • Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Brazil (Joao Jose Reis) 

  • The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (Falola and Chils) 

  • The Biography of Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua: His Passage from Slavery to Freedom in Africa and America(Law and Lovejoy) 

  • Vassouras: A Brazilian Coffee County, 1850-1900: The Roles of Planter and Slave in a Plantation Society (Stanley Stein) 

  • Slavery and Identity: Ethnicity, Gender, and Race in Salvador, Brazil 1808-1888 (Miedo Nishida) 

  • Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition Sao Paulo and Salvador (Kim Butler) 

  • The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories (Emilia Viotti Da Costa) 

  • Vale of Tears: Revisiting the Canudos Massacre in Northeastern Brazil, 1893-1897 

  • (Robert Levine)

  • From Insurrection to Revolution in Mexico: Social Bases of Agrarian Violence, 1750-1940(John Tutino) 

  • The Caste War of Yucatan (Nelson Reed) 

  • Yucatan's Maya Peasantry and the Origins of the Caste War (Terry Rugeley) 

  • Trials of Nation Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810-1910 (Brooke Larson) 

  • The Defense of Community in Peru's Central Highlands: Peasant Struggle and 

  • Capitalist Transition, 1860-1940 (Florencia Mallon) 

  • Coffee and Conflict in Colombia, 1886-1910 (Bergquist) 

  • The Sugar Industry in Pernambuco, 1840-1910: Modernization without Change (Eisenberg) 

  • Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 (Ada Ferer) 

  • Blacks and Whites in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1888-1988 (George Ried Andrews) 

  • Positivism in Latin America, 1850-1900 (Ralph Lee Woodward) 

  • The Colonial Heritage of Latin America (Stein)



If histories are too much sometimes, here are some excellent novels which, even if the characters are fictional, illustrate the history well and give a great feel for how if felt to be in that time and place.Sacred Hunger (Barry Unsworth)

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia-Marquez)

  • Burmese Days (George Orwell)

  • God's Bits of Wood (Mbeme Ousmane)

  • The Castle of My Skin (George Lamming)

  • Masters of the Dew (Jacques Roumain)

  • Petals of Blood (Ngugi wa Thiongo)

  • A House for Mr. Biswas (V.S. Naipaul)


  • Marxist Internet Archive - AMAZING collection of nearly every writing ever by any Marxist scholar or activist of note.

  • H-Net - History Network. Lots of stuff!

Films and Documentaries



Death Without Weeping:

The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil, by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, an anthropologist at the University of California at Berkely. An amazing book about life and death in small town, rural Brazil.

  • The Mission (Jesuit missionaries in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay)

  • Twelve Years a Slave (American slavery)

  • Strike (Industrial strike in Tsarist Russia) 

  • Germinal (Coal Miners and strike in northern France) 

  • Battleship Potemkin (Uprising of sailors in Tsarist Russia)

  • Reds (American journalists during the Russian Revolution)

  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Irish uprising against Great Britain)

  • Land and Freedom (Spanish Civil War) 

  • The Last Days of Sophie Scholl (Resistance in Nazi Germany) 

  • Schindlers List (Jews in Holocaust) 


  • From Tsar to Lenin (Russian Revolution in 1 hour! Great footage!)

  • The Spanish Civil War (BBC documentary in 6 episodes - excellent)

  • Triumph of the Will (Nazi propaganda film - visionary)