Arze, José Antonio (1904–1955)

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Arze, José Antonio (1904–1955)

José Antonio Arze (b. 13 January 1904; d. 23 August 1955), Bolivian intellectual and politician. Born in Cochabamba, Arze was the most influential Marxist intellectual and the leading leftist politician in Bolivia during the 1940s. In 1928 he helped found the National Student Federation (FUB), which demanded university reforms on the Argentine model. As the presidential candidate of the FUB in 1940, Arze received almost a fifth of the total vote. Thereafter, he was instrumental in organizing the first effective national leftist party, the Party of the Revolutionary Left (PIR), which rivaled in size and influence the National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) among the opposition parties of the 1940s. Arze again became a presidential candidate in 1951. He was a professor of sociology at the University of San Francisco Xavier in Sucre and founder of the Institute of Bolivian Sociology and its journal, the Revista del Instituto de Sociología Boliviana. The author of numerous books and translator of Louis Baudin and Georges Rouma, Arze influenced several generations of leftist politicians in Bolivia.

See alsoBolivia, Political Parties: Party of the Revolutionary Left (PIR)xml .


An excellent introduction to Arze and his times is Herbert S. Klein, Parities and Political Change in Bolivia: 1880–1952 (1969). Short summaries of Arze's life are available in Guillermo Francovich, El pensamiento boliviano en el siglo XX (1956), pp. 108-110, and Valentín Abecia Baldivieso, Historiografía boliviana, 2d ed. (1973), pp. 451-453.

Additional Bibliography

Taborga, Jesús. El pensamiento filosófico en Bolivia: Antología: Enfoque crítico-socio-cultural La Paz: Editorial Gramma, 2001.

                                          Erick D. Langer