What We’re Reading: The Legacy of the Past in Venezuela and Germany

Weekly reviews of what’s on our bookshelves.

GPF Staff |December 4, 2018

The History of Venezuela
By H. Michael Tarver and Julia C. Frederick

Contemporary Venezuela is living proof of the old adage that history repeats itself. H. Michael Tarver and Julia C. Frederick document the numerous parallels between the country’s past and present in “The History of Venezuela.” Taken out of context, several accounts in the book could easily be mistaken for a description of Venezuela’s current state of decay. Tarver and Frederick’s discussions of the various challenges the country has faced – such as rising debt, price controls, inflation and government spending – apply equally to any number of bygone Venezuelan governments, as well as to Nicolas Maduro’s administration. Perhaps the most prescient example is the case of President Marcos Perez Jimenez, who in 1952 manipulated the results of an election that didn’t go his way to ensure his victory and then formed a constituent assembly to validate his mandate. If this sounds familiar, it’s because

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