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Taking Power : On the Origins of Third World Revolutions - John Foran

Taking Power

On the Origins of Third World Revolutions

Hardcover Published: 19th December 2005
ISBN: 9780521620093
Number Of Pages: 410

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Taking Power analyzes the causes behind some three dozen revolutions in the Third World between 1910 and the present. It advances a new theory that seeks to integrate the political, economic, and cultural factors that brought these revolutions about, and links structural theorizing with original ideas on culture and agency. It attempts to explain why so few revolutions have succeeded, while so many have failed. The book is divided into chapters that treat particular sets of revolutions including the great social revolutions of Mexico 1910, China 1949, Cuba 1959, Iran 1979, and Nicaragua 1979, the anticolonial revolutions in Algeria, Vietnam, Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe from the 1940s to the 1970s, and the failed revolutionary attempts in El Salvador, Peru, and elsewhere. It closes with speculation about the future of revolutions in an age of globalization, with special attention to Chiapas, the post-September 11 world, and the global justice movement.

Industry Reviews

'Foran's book has raised the bar for comparative studies of revolution. More than any prior comparative work on revolutions, it takes seriously culture, contingency, and the importance of understanding revolutionary attempts, failures, and reversals. In doing so, Foran has set down a superior foundation for us all. It should be the starting point for all future work on modern revolutions.' Contemporary Sociology 'Foran's magnum opus is a must read for scholars of revolution and social movements, third-world development, and global conflict. It is impressive not only for its breadth in terms of the number and variety of revolutions that he discusses (making it a valuable reference book), but also for its theoretical insight and methodological transparency and rigor.' John G. Dale, George Mason University 'John Foran's Taking Power presents a sophisticated yet parsimonious account of the great revolutions, near-revolutions, and defeated revolutions of the past century. This carefully crafted and well written book is the most comprehensive study of Third World revolutions now available. Foran's theory challenges one-dimensional theories of Revolution as well as ad hoc accounts of individual revolutions. Scholars - and perhaps revolutionaries - will be debating his ideas for years to come.' Jeff Goodwin, Professor of Sociology, New York University 'John Foran's book draws faithfully from the rich literature on revolutions from the 1970s and beyond and extends this work in useful ways. It presents a well-crafted synthetic argument that finds a nice balance between international and domestic sources of revolution and between structural constraints and political agency. It also examines thoughtfully an extraordinary number of cases in a relatively compact form.' Perspectives on Politics 'John Foran's deftly written, persuasively argued, theoretically sophisticated, and substantively rich text serves as a delightful compendium of the very best and latest thinking about matters revolutionary.' Eric Selbin, Chair of the Political Science Department, Southwestern University

List of figuresp. x
List of tablesp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Theorizing rvolutionsp. 5
Defining revolutionp. 6
Historical perspectives on revolutionsp. 8
A theory of Third World social revolutionsp. 18
The method of studying revolutionsp. 24
Revolutionary success
The great social revolutionsp. 33
Mexico's unfinished revolution, 1910-20p. 34
The longest revolution: China, 1911-49p. 46
The making of a revolution: Cuba, 1953-59p. 57
The Sandinista synthesis in Nicaragua, 1977-79p. 65
Iran, 1977-79: a surprising prototype for the Third Worldp. 74
Conclusion: the route to social revolutionp. 87
The closest cousins: the great anti-colonial revolutionsp. 88
The Battle of Algeria, 1954-62p. 91
The Angolan Revolution, 1960s-1975: from liberation movement to civil warp. 104
Mozambique, 1960s-1975: the advantages of relative unityp. 115
Zimbabwe, 1960s-1980: anti-racist revolutionp. 123
Vietnam, 1945-75: the three revolutionsp. 131
Conclusion: the anti-colonial variantp. 145
Revolutionary failure
The greatest tragedies: reversed revolutionsp. 151
The rise to power of revolutionary movementsp. 153
Bolivia 1952: a sudden rebellionp. 153
The Chilean path to revolution, 1970p. 158
Grenada's swift success, 1979p. 163
Iran 1951, Guatemala 1944, and Jamaica 1972: two elections and an uprisingp. 167
Falling from powerp. 169
Bolivia after 1952p. 170
Chile 1973p. 174
Grenada 1983p. 181
Nicaragua in the 1980sp. 190
Iran 1953, Guatemala 1954, and Jamaica 1980: two coups and an electionp. 196
Conclusions: success and failure in one actp. 199
The great contrasts: attempts, political revolutions, and non-attemptsp. 205
Attempted revolutionsp. 206
El Salvador's near revolutionp. 206
The Sendero Luminoso in Perup. 209
China, 1989p. 211
Algeria in the 1990sp. 213
Guatemala since the 1960s, Argentina in the 1970s, and the Philippines after 1986p. 214
A comparative analysis of attemptsp. 216
A look at political revolutionsp. 221
The fall of the Manchus in China, people's power in the Philippines, and the ouster of "Baby Doc" in Haitip. 221
The uprooting of apartheidp. 223
From the Congo to Zaire, and backp. 225
A comparative analysis of political revolutionsp. 227
No attempt: the reasons whyp. 229
Iraq: where political culture prevented revolution?p. 230
Iran and Egypt: the counter-revolutionary power of repressive tolerancep. 231
Cuba: the advantages of culturep. 233
South Korea and Taiwan: the advantages of real developmentp. 234
Argentina, Brazil, and Turkey: dependent development and democracyp. 235
Comparing non-attemptsp. 237
Chiapas: the first revolution of the new millenniump. 238
Concluding thoughts on the failure of revolutionsp. 243
The past and future of revolutionsp. 247
What have we learned about the origins of revolutions?p. 247
A summary of resultsp. 255
A concern with the future of revolutionsp. 258
How to study the futurep. 260
Globalization: the highest stage of capitalism?p. 260
An aside on September 11: the crisis every/no one was waiting for...p. 265
How might the revolutions of the future have better end(ing)s?p. 268
By way of concluding thoughtsp. 276
Notesp. 279
Works citedp. 349
Indexp. 381
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521620093
ISBN-10: 0521620090
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 410
Published: 19th December 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.77