Simón Bolívar: History and Myth

All over Latin America, and especially in the Venezuela of Hugo Chavez, Latin America’s liberator, Simón Bolívar, is a political idol and symbol of that continent’s new political self-confidence. The legends about him remain alive and have been the basis for many political speeches, plays, and fictional works. Michael Zeuske, one of the world’s leading experts on Bolívar, examines the dimensions of the Bolívar cult and myths and compares these with the real historical person, and the world in which he lived. Zeuske’s account corrects major inaccuracies in the historical texts, such as the legendary meeting between Alexander von Humboldt and Bolívar, which never actually took place.

Michael Zeuske is a Latin American history specialist who has held the position of fellow at many leading research institutions, including Yale University and the University of Michigan. He is also an expert in the twentieth-century slave trade, and is the author of Black Caribbean: Slaves, Slavery and Emancipation Cultures.

Steven Rendall is a freelance translator of more than sixty books from French and German. He has won the National Jewish Book Council’s Sandra Brand and Arik Weintraub Award and the Modern Language Association’s Scaglione Prize for his translations, and he was a finalist for the 2012 French-American Foundation translation award. He is also professor emeritus at the University of Oregon and editor emeritus of the journal Comparative Literature.