Palacios, Marco 1944–
Palacios, Marco 1944–
(Marco Antonio Palacios Rozo)
Born June, 1944, in Bogota, Colombia. Education: University of Oxford, Ph.D., 1978.
Office—Camino al Ajusco 20, Pedregal de Santa Teresa, 10740 Mexico City, D.F., Mexico. E-mail—[email protected]
Lawyer and historian. National University of Colombia, rector, 1984-88, 2003-05; Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, professor of Latin American history and director of seminar on political violence.
El Populismo en Colombia, Editorial Siuasinza (Bogota, Colombia), 1971.
El café en Colombia, 1850-1970: una historia económica, social y política, Editorial Presencia (Bogota, Colombia), 1979, 2nd edition, Colegio de Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico), 1983, English translation published as Coffee in Colombia, 1850-1970: An Economic, Social, and Political History, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1980.
Colombia no alineada: memoria de un foro y declaración de Nueva Delhi, 1983, Banco Popular (Bogota, Colombia), 1983.
La Unidad Nacional en América Latina: del regionalismo a ja nacionalidad, Colegio de Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico), 1983.
La delgada corteza de nuestra civilización, Procultura: Presidencia de la República (Bogota, Colombia), 1986.
Estado y clases sociales en Colombia, Procultura: Presidencia de la República (Bogota, Colombia), 1986.
Entre la legitimidad y la violencia: Colombia 1875-1994, Grupo Editorial Norma (Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia), 1995, English translation by Richard Stoller published as Between Legitimacy and Violence: A History of Colombia, 1875-2002, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2006.
Parábola del liberalismo, Grupo Editorial Norma (Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia), 1999.
Aventuras y desventuras de la paz cuatrienal, Editorial Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Medellin, Colombia), 1999.
De populistas, mandarines y violencias: luchas por el poder, Editorial Planeta Colombiana: Temas de Hoy (Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia), 1999.
La clase más ruidosa y otros ensayos sobre política e historia, Norma (Bogota, Colombia), 2002.
(With Frank Safford) Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Marco Palacios is considered a leading expert in the field of Latin American history, a subject he teaches at the Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. He is particularly knowledgeable of the history of Colombia, his birthplace; it is a country that has seen many turbulent times. Economic problems and violence, linked to the trade in illegal drugs, have been two prominent features in Colombia's recent history. Palacios has a deep personal understanding and interest in his subject, having come of age during the period of extreme violence in Colombia that is now known as "La Violencia." Some of Palacios's works about Colombia have been translated into English, including El café en Colombia, 1850-1970: una historia económica, social y política, translated into English as Coffee in Colombia, 1850-1970: An Economic, Social, and Political History. In addition, Entre la legitimidad y la violencia: Colombia 1875-1994 was translated into English as Between Legitimacy and Violence: A History of Colombia 1875-2002.
In Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society, Palacios and coauthor Frank Safford provide a thorough historical introduction for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary political and economic situation in Colombia. They consider the role of history, geography, and politics in forming the regional cultures and identities found in Colombia, which are quite distinct. The two main political parties are also analyzed, and the authors explain why they believe that Colombia's economic problems arose from its lack of success in creating a solid national economic base, along with its mediocre performance as an exporter of its goods. The authors highlight the effect of urban development, the important role of coffee in the nation's history, and reasons for the violence that plagues the country.
Palacios's most comprehensive book on Colombian history is Between Legitimacy and Violence. The author conducted his research for this book between the years of 1990 and 1994, and he published the first edition in 1995. In this book, the author provides an analysis of how "social, economic, and political conditions combined to create a hyper-violent outburst that has reverberated like shockwaves through Colombia's history," stated Douglas C. Judice in a critique for Military Review. Palacios approaches his subject in an unusual style; rather than progressing chronologically through a recitation of Colombia's history, he organizes the book in sections that discuss particular historical events. This format has the advantage of allowing readers "to concentrate on the events, essentially grasping the relevance and impact of each," added Judice. Malcolm Deas commented on the method of organization used in his review of the original Spanish edition of the book for Journal of Latin American Studies. He stated that at times the format is questionable, but "the style pays off in pace and control." Deas further notes Palacios's strengths in his novel, including "his geographical range, particularly necessary in this vast and varied country … the easy way that economic and demographic developments are woven into the main narrative … [and] a happy combination of information and summary."
Palacios's study discusses the three civil wars that ravaged Colombia in the late 1800s; the influence of the Catholic Church on the political and cultural life of the country; the tension between workers and capitalist businessmen; the effects of the global depression of the 1930s and 1940s; and the era of war and rioting that followed, commonly known as "La Violencia." Commenting on this prolonged period of violence in which Palacios grew up, he advances his theory that as the common people of Colombia began to gain some basic rights, they quickly began to expect their rights and privileges to expand. This led to increased friction between the masses and the elite class, who were in control of most of the country's power. Judice mentioned that Palacios's account of La Violencia is notable for its great detail.
In Between Legitimacy and Violence, Palacios goes on to examine the modern era of Colombian politics. Friction between the two major political parties eventually defused in a compromise that paved the way for what the author calls a "savage capitalism," which resulted in elections that are frequently decided by the influence of drug lords rather than the will of the electorate. He presents a view of Colombia as a divided country, with a legitimate system that functions only in the major population centers; elsewhere, there are large areas that remain in conflict. Daniel H. Levine recommended Between Legitimacy and Violence in Catholic Historical Review, calling it "a very well written and informative book." Further praise for the book came from Michael R. Hall, a contributor to Journal of Third World Studies. Hall called Palacios's work "a highly analytical and informative interpretation of Colombian history."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, December 1, 1981, review of Coffee in Colombia, 1850-1970: An Economic, Social, and Political History, p. 1184.
Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, April 1, 1983, review of Coffee in Colombia, 1850-1970, p. 578; July 1, 2007, Pamela Murray, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence: A History of Colombia, 1875-2002, p. 114.
Catholic Historical Review, July 1, 2007, Daniel H. Levine, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence, p. 734.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February 1, 2002, J. Rosenthal, review of Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society, p. 1103; December 1, 2006, J. Rosenthal, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence, p. 700.
Hispanic American Historical Review, November 1, 1996, David Bushnell, review of Entre la legitimidad y la violencia: Colombia 1875-1994, p. 808; February 1, 2008, David Bushnell, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence, p. 140.
Journal of Latin American Studies, May 1, 1997, Malcolm Deas, review of Entre la legitimidad y la violencia, p. 522.
Journal of Third World Studies, March 22, 2007, Michael R. Hall, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence, p. 303.
Military Review, November 1, 2006, Douglas C. Judice, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence.
Virginia Quarterly Review, March 22, 2007, Hugh Gildea, review of Between Legitimacy and Violence, p. 294.
El Colegio de Mexico Web site,http://ceh.colmex.mx/ (June 23, 2008), biographical information about Marco Palacios.
Foreign Affairs,http://www.foreignaffairs.org/ (January-February, 2002), Kenneth Maxwell, review of Colombia.
Oxford University Press Web site,http://www.oup.com/ (June 23, 2006), biographical information about Marco Palacios.