Amy Chazkel’s Laws of Chance explores the rise of a cultural phenomenon that has engrossed the Brazilian imaginary since the turn of the twentieth century: the lottery game jogo do bicho. Its multifaceted analysis ties the “animal game” to the rise of urbanization, consumer capitalism, positivist criminology, and the cash economy in the First Republic (1889-1930).
Bartolomé de Las Casas has been long renowned as a religious reformer, champion of indigenous rights and an advocate of the freedoms of the Indians in the Americas. He has been lauded as the “Father of America” and “noble protector of the Indians.” Conversely, he has also been much disparaged and criticized by historians.
Shortly after 1:00am on January 25, 1835, a contingent of African-born slaves and former slaves emerged from a house at number 2 Ladeira da Praça and overpowered the justice of the peace and a police lieutenant. Throughout the night approximately six hundred rebels ran through the streets fighting and vandalizing a number of municipal buildings.
A Google image search for “Our Lady of Guadalupe” returns millions of images. This Catholic icon appears on paintings, coffee mugs, tattoos, and more. Her image is an international symbol for Catholics and non-religious alike.
During a recent drug bust in Houston, Texas, officers discovered a shrine to a skeleton statuette, robed in green and holding a scythe wrapped in dollar bills in her right hand, tobacco lying as an offering at her feet. Votive candles of various colors surrounded the statuette, as well as regularly replenished glasses filled with water and Mexican tequila. The officers had found Santa Muerte.
In The Cuban Connection, Eduardo Saénz Rovner rethinks Cuba’s position as a hotbed of drug trafficking, smuggling, and gambling and he considers how these illicit activities shaped Cuban national identity from the early twentieth century through the rise of Fidel Castro.
In November 2005, Anissa “The Assassin” Zamarron entered the ring for one of her most important bouts: a chance to win the Women’s International Boxing Association junior flyweight title.
In only a few decades during the seventeenth century, the Spanish American colonial city of Potosí, in modern-day Bolivia, grew from a small settlement to a metropolis of almost 200,000. With twice the total population of all of Britain’s North American colonies, Potosí became one of the largest cities in the Americas despite being at an elevation of over 13,000 feet.
In a posh neighborhood of Mexico City in August of 1940, former Soviet leader and Marxist intellectual Leon Trotsky was murdered with an ice-axe. The perpetrator, a Spaniard named Ramón Mercader, confessed to the murder, but initially refused to discuss his motives (he was only later confirmed to be a Stalinist agent).
For decades scholars of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin America had paid close attention to individual states and their relationship to national peasantries. his abiding interest stemmed from long-term academic investment in agrarian conflict and popular revolution in places like Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua.