For most Europeans and Americans, Latin America is still little more than their underdeveloped sibling, its inhabitants pitching up on its shores or struggling across the Rio Grande into the USA. It's a place of exuberant music, mesmerising football, extravagant beauty, fantastic literature, drug trafficking and guerrilla warfare – in short, exotic, dangerous and exciting. In this counterintuitive and fascinating book, Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, who teaches international Law and International Affairs at London University, shows how, unafraid to turn its back on some commonly held economic views that have now lost their currency, Latin America is in fact making its presence felt from Lima to Shanghai, from Brazilia to London and from Buenos Aires to New York. While the world acknowledges the continuing importance of the US in international affairs, few people have noticed that with Spanish language and culture in the ascendant the US is quietly but quickly becoming the next Latin American country. In fact, Guardiola-Rivera argues, the next Barack Obama is as more than likely to be of Latino origin. Both a hidden history of the modern world from the silver peso (the world’s first truly global currency) to the recent shift away from globalism and an imaginative vision rooted in a sure understanding of the past, What If Latin America Ruled the World? is certain to provoke interest and controversy
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