Over a decade ago, Jorge Castañeda wrote the classic Utopia Unarmed, which offered a penetrating and comprehensive account of the Latin American left’s fate at the end of the Cold War. Since then, the left across Latin America has travelled in paths no one could have predicted. Latin American nations from Mexico to Argentina wavered for years between leftism and American-supported neoliberalism, but in recent years the left has experienced a tremendous resurgence throughout the region. However, the left is not unified, and as Castañeda, Morales, and their contributors show, it has followed two distinct paths—a more cosmopolitan style leftism, exemplified by Brazil and Chile, and a left fuelled by populist nationalism that has clear debts to Perón or Cárdenas, and is most evident in Venezuela, Mexico’s PRD, Bolivia, and Argentina. Leftovers comprehensively updates this very important story, with country and area specialists contributing.
Jorge G. Castañeda, Mexico’s Foreign Minister from 2000-2003, is Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University.
Marco A. Morales is a doctoral student in political science at New York University.