Viva South America!

Viva South America!
Published by Faber on 24th December 2009

Simon Bolivar once inspired a continent to rise from serfdom and throw off the shackles of Spanish rule. With lance and law book, he and his fellow liberators set the course for independence, freedom and equality.

Viva South America: A Journey Through a Restless Continent sets out to discover whether that dream lives on. Is it fair to describe a land as “liberated” while poverty still enslaves millions, where violence lurks in the shadows and where lawlessness gnaws away at progress? Did the Liberators fail? Or are leaders such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales resurrecting those long-ago ideals?

Armed with a reporter’s notebook and an open mind, the author hits the road in search of answers. Cutting a path along the highways and byways of the continent, this book lifts the lid on the Liberators’ legacies and sniffs behind their modern-day statues.

With the ghost of Bolivar as guide, the quest takes the reader off the tourist trail and into the weird and wonderful worlds of South American culture and society. By stepping into people’s homes and into inmates’ prison cells, by climbing on to dance floors and over roadblocks, Oliver Balch unearths untold stories from the front ling of South America’s contemporary fight for liberation.

More publications by Oliver Balch