Liberators of Latin America Critical Essays

Bob Young, Jan Young


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In the opening chapter, the Youngs briefly explain how the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century advanced the new political philosophy that all individuals were born equal. Growing out of this new thought came the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and finally the Latin American Revolution. Only nine of the many heroes of the nearly twenty-year Latin American Revolution are described in Liberators of Latin America. The individuals portrayed in the biographies are considered to be true heroes who continue to be honored by their respective countries. Each chapter is less than thirty pages in length and yet presents the essence of the heroic details that made the individual great. These figures all made major sacrifices of their time and energy to devote to the cause of liberty, showing young adults that liberty has a price.

The authors did not fictionalize the various biographies with undocumented conversations; the accounts are narratives with occasional quotations from letters or diaries. For example, a young Bolívar wrote a letter to a friend in which he states, “My life is a desert.” The liberators are positively portrayed but are shown to have characteristics that made them human. Bolívar is depicted as a spoiled, headstrong boy who made life miserable for his teachers. San Martín was a solemn boy, but too practical and down-to-earth to be considered brilliant. Benito Juárez’s expression was usually rigid and unsmiling....

(The entire section is 589 words.)