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Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
"Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century provides a good short course in the major popular revolutions of our century--in Russia, Mexico, China, Algeria, Cuba, and Viet Nam--not from the perspective of governments or parties or leaders, but from the perspective of the peasant peoples whose lives and ways of living were destroyed by the depredations of the imperial powers, in ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 15th 1999 by University of Oklahoma Press (first published 1969)
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Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, assigned
I'm trying to reconcile some feelings I had while reading this book. It tries to be engaging, but the strategy of dissection the author uses to investigate each case (he views revolution through the lens of the peasantry in Mexico, Russia, China, Vietnam, Algeria, and Cuba) comes off as plodding. The really exciting of this book came in the Conclusion, where he really presented and expanded his thesis: revolution against a new and invasive capitalist worldview and sociopolitical order doesn't re ...more
Luthfian Haekal
Nyicil bacaan untuk tema skripsi. Karena, semester lima sudah diminta untuk memikirkan topik skripsi. Intinya, buku ini merangkum beberapa perjuangan, salah satunya kelompok Zapatista "Generasi Pertama" di meksiko. Proses awal kemiskinan itu tercerabutnya masyarakat dari tanahnya.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
What if anything is the connective tissue between the revolutions in Mexico, Russia, Algeria, China, Vietnam, and Cuba? Eric Wolf has written a book composed primarily of class analysis, but that is not from a Marxist perspective on the issue.

Peasant Wars is doesn't feel wrong so much as it feels like time has passed it by. Written in the sixties, these revolutions don't feel like the sort of phenomenon that it is vital to understand in the way they did at the time of publication. Modern revolu
Chris Balz
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Explains the Vietnam War, Casto's revolution, the Mexican Revolution, and several other major post- and pre-WW II conflicts very effectively and completely by arguing that they are really conflicts about land use. In Wolf's view, the side opposing the U.S. and its allies wanted land to be primarily protected for subsistance farming, whereas U.S. interests wanted land to primarily be an object of capital.

The argument makes a lot of sense and mirrors a comment a Vietnam War veteran friend made to
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I was excited to read about the history and context of revolutions in all of the countries this book covered. It goes into moderate depth about the social hierarchies, forces at play, historical context, who the main movers and power brokers were, and why (to their understanding) things turned out the way they did.

For a book published in the 1970's, it feels surprisingly relevant and insightful. I'd love to read an updated version which covered the 50 years which have elapsed since the book was
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Why do peasants revolt? Where and when?
This would be a great book for studying peasant livelihoods in political contexts of the 20th century and could be read in tandem with Frank Ellis and James Scott.
Sugarpunksattack Mick
Eric Wolf's 'Peasant wars...' is an engaging read and an excellent introduction to the various revolutions it covers from an anthropologist perspective with marxist lens. The strength of the book is his approach to really center the peasantry and explain the changes occurring in each society that leads up to revolution. Particularly, how peasant systems, although varied depending on the country/region, had things like social obligations and social safety nets of sorts built into them. The strain ...more
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Anthropologist, best known for his studies of peasants, Latin America, and his advocacy of Marxian perspectives within anthropology.
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