In brief: The Rise of Evo Morales and the MAS

The Rise of Evo Morales and the MAS
Sven Harten
2011, Zed Books
262 pages

EVO MORALES has travelled many journeys in his rise to the top echelon of Bolivian politics, perhaps none more inevitable than his transition from poster boy of the international eco-left to a prince of betrayal in the cosy western development community, where his nationalist reflex to use natural resource exports to drive growth has divided him from his natural constituency and allowed him to be portrayed as the embodiment of commodity zeal over indigenous wisdom. Sven Harten’s book, refreshingly, puts real flesh back on to this controversial figure by explaining the implications of the extraordinary rise of Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) for Latin American politics. One of the principal lessons that emerges is that Morales is a multidimensional figure spearheading not just political change but a transformation of consciousness in a society in which it seems to have taken 500 years to recognise the need for change. – GO’T