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In Improvised Continent, Richard Cándida Smith synthesizes over seventy years of Pan-American cultural activity in the United States and shows how Latin American artists and writers challenged U.S. citizens about their place in the world and about the kind of global relations the country's interests could allow.
Richard Candida Smith is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of several books, including The Modern Moves West: California Artists and Democratic Culture in the Twentieth Century, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
"Poets, painters, policymakers, and others wrestle over pan-American hopes and disappointments in Richard Cándida Smith's illuminating and thoughtful work. Spanning the twentieth century, and ranging across diverse sources in four languages, Improvised Continent brings new cultural and intellectual depth to the history of Latin American and U.S. relations."—Brooke L. Blower, Boston University
"Count Richard Candida Smith among the best of those scholars doing transnational history. Improvised Continent is a brilliant investigation of U.S. and Latin American intellectuals and artists who formed networks that the United States used for its cultural diplomacy. But as Candida Smith deftly shows, there was an irony in cultural imperialism, as these intellectuals and artists served not only to teach U.S. audiences about the rest of the Americas. They also served as critics of American society and offered up a distinctly robust liberalism rooted in the utopia of pan-Americanism."—Andrew Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars
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