About the Book
Evo Morales is one of the world's most controversial political leaders. His story is extra-ordinary: poor shepherd-boy, persecuted coca grower, self-professed admirer of Ché Guevara, hero of the anti-globalisation movement, and first indigenous President in Latin America. The story of his political party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS) is exceptional as well: founded as a splinter of an ultra-right wing party, it was given as a gift for the coca growers after they had been banned several times for spurious reasons to register their own party.
In this insightful and revealing book, Harten attempts to explain the success of the MAS and its wider consequences, showing how Morales has become the symbol for a new political consciousness that has entailed de-stigmatizing indigenous identities. In many ways, the analysis of Morales's political trajectory serves as a mirror for democracy in Bolivia. It reveals the challenge of squaring the rupture with a discredited past, with the continuity of democracy and with the aim of representing an entire society.