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The Singer’s Needle: An Undisciplined History of Panamá

The Singer’s Needle: An Undisciplined History of Panamá

Author Ezer Vierba
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publication Date 2020
Section Academic New Arrivals / Latin America / Caribbean
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780226342450

The Singer’s Needle offers a bold new approach to the history of twentieth-century Panamá, one that illuminates the nature of power and politics in a small and complex nation.

Using novelistic techniques, Vierba explores three crucial episodes in the shaping and erosion of contemporary Panamanian institutions: the establishment of a penal colony on the island of Coiba in 1919, the judicial drama following the murder of President José Antonio Remón Cantera in 1955, and the “disappearance” of a radical priest in 1971. Skillfully blending historical sociology with novelistic narrative and extensive empirical research, and drawing on the works of Michel Foucault among others, Vierba shows the links between power, interpretation, and representation. The result is a book that deftly reshapes conventional methods of historical writing.

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