The “impeccably researched, uncommonly honest, and . . . very well written” biography of the nineteenth century Venezuelan military and political leader (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, New Republic).
Simón Bolívar was a revolutionary who freed six South American countries from Spanish Imperial rule, an intellectual who argued the principles of national liberation, and a statesman who led the governments of Venezuela, Gran Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. His life, passions, and battles were woven into Spanish American culture almost as soon as they happened. In the first major English-language biography of “The Liberator” in half a century, John Lynch draws on extensive research to understand Bolívar’s life in the context of his own society and times, and to explore his remarkable and enduring legacy.
Simón Bolívar illuminates the man’s inner world, the dynamics of his leadership, his power to command, and his modes of ruling the diverse peoples of Spanish America. The key to his greatness, Lynch concludes, was his ability to inspire people to follow him beyond their immediate interests, in some cases through years of unremitting struggle. Encompassing Bolívar’s entire life and his many accomplishments, this is the definitive account of a towering figure in the history of the Western hemisphere.
“[A] masterly new biography.” —Noam Lupu, San Francisco Chronicle