Talking about the Great Liberator
Posted by: Brad Hooper
The illustrious historical figure Simon Bolivar is often referred to as the George Washington of South America.. The parallels between the two men, while not complete, do offer a compelling comparison. Washington led the touch-and-go independence movement of the English North American colonies from the mother country, while Bolivar, some time later, stood at the head of the geographically widespread liberation of Spain’s South American colonies. Unfortunately, few North Americans know more than a sentence worth of information about Bolivar.
Enter Marie Arana, former editor of the Washington Post Book Review and author of, among other books, the widely applauded 2002 memoir American Chica, Her new book is a magisterial yet dynamic biography of the Great Liberator. Aran’s cradle-to-grave treatment is the result of intense research in South and North America. Obviously, one of the purposes of her project is to educate U.S. readers about the Southern Hemisphere’s George Washington. Born in Lima, Peru, Arana brings a fascinating consciousness of South American history and culture to her view of Bolivar.
I will have the pleasure of talking with Arana about her new book during one of the two lunch-hour author programs that will be a part of the ALA Virtual Conference, Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25. My interview will air on the the 25th from 12:45 to 1:15pm.