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Head of Zeus
Populista: The Rise of Latin America's 21st Century Strongman Will Grant

'An ambitious, riveting and essential book that has much to teach us about the recent history of this region, and about the human impulse towards populism that continues to shape the world' Ben Rhodes, bestselling author of The World As It Is

The swing to the Left in Latin America, known as the 'Pink Tide', was the most important political movement in the Western Hemisphere in the 21st century. It involved some of the biggest, most colourful and most controversial characters in Latin America for decades, leaders who would leave an indelible mark on their nations and who were adored and reviled in equal measure.

Parties became secondary to individual leaders and populism reigned from Venezuela to Brazil, from Central America to the Caribbean, financed by a spike in commodity prices and oil-backed largesse of Venezuela's charismatic socialist president, Hugo Chávez.

Yet within a decade and a half, it was all over. Today, this wave of populism has left the Americas in the hands of some of the most authoritarian, militarized and dangerous leaders since the military dictatorships of the 1970s.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Politics, Economics and Society
07 Jan 2021 * 560pp * £8.99 * 9781789543988
'¡Populista! is an ambitious, riveting and essential book that has much to teach us about the recent history of this region, and about the human impulse towards populism that continues to shape the world'
Ben Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of The World As It Is.
'A tour-de-force of reportage and analysis that makes sense of historic, complex forces that shook Latin America – and in many ways foreshadowed what we are now seeing in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Grant has produced a lucid, important book'
Rory Carroll, author of Comandante.
'A valuable and timely guide. From the region that practically invented the term 'populism', it is also a sombre warning to those in more developed countries who once vainly imagined that the same could never possibly happen there. Grant's ¡Populista! describes how the playbook of charismatic autocrats and chronic cronyism can unfold anywhere'
John Paul Rathbone, author of The Sugar King of Havana.
'A sweeping, vivid and even-handed account of the populist leaders who shaped Latin America over the past twenty years. Will Grant moves deftly from palaces where he heard presidents claiming they embodied the will of the people to the barrios where their policies had most impact'
Maurice Walsh, former BBC Latin America correspondent.
'A timely, dramatic account of Latin America's modern-day leftwing populists: Castro, Chavez, Ortega, Correa, Lula and Evo, they're all here. Will Grant writes with close knowledge, admirable balance, and the verve of a natural storyteller. A must-read for today's volatile world'
Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life.
'Will Grant is one of the BBC's great scholar-correspondents, and without peer when it comes to explaining Latin America. In Populista, he marries the depth of knowledge of a fine historian, with the elegant storytelling of a gifted journalist'
Nick Bryant, BBC New York Correspondent.
'The best piece of non-fiction writing on Latin America that I have read in a long time. Will Grant meets everyone from presidents to the impoverished, and explains it all beautifully'
Giles Tremlett, author of Ghosts of Spain.
Will Grant
Will Grant
Will Grant is one of the UK's leading broadcast journalists on Latin American affairs. He has been a BBC correspondent in Latin America since 2007 with successive deployments to Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba. Across his career, he has been responsible for covering the region from Patagonia to the Rio Grande and has travelled to every part of the continent in that time. He is currently based in Havana and Mexico City.
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