Modern Latin America

Your Latin American research might focus on the history of a particular country. Or you might choose to compare an important issue faced by several countries: the treatment of minorities, tribal conflict, the role of Catholicism, environmental issues. Try to narrow your research to a particular area. You might start by finding an entry in a good print encyclopedia or by reading a short, general book on your topic. This will give you an overview of the subject and help you to refine your search. 

Some possible subject areas for the history of modern Latin America include:
colonialism in Brazil
humanitarian contributions and the politics of international aid
Peronism in Argentina
the history of national parks and wildlife preservation in Latin America.

We can't fit every resource about modern Latin America on to this list! A pathfinder is just the beginning of building your bibliography.

Reference materials

This is the place to start any research project. Reference resources offer short, authoritative information on every topic. Reference books must be used in the library. Most contain bibliographies of important books on your topic. A good first stop would be any of the standard print encyclopedias in the Beaver collection: Encyclopedia Americana, World Book or Britannica.


Bingham, Jame, ed. (2001). The Usborne Internet-linked encyclopedia of world history. REF 901 B51 2001
DeFronzo, James. (2006). Revolutionary movements in world history. REF 303.64 REV A 3 volume set.
Ember, et al. (2001). Countries and their cultures. A-Z entries on every country, with information on geography, history, culture, politics, family life, the economy and culture.
Gall, Timothy, ed. (2004). Worldmark encyclopedia of the nations: Americas. REF 910.3 W89 v. 3
Herb, G. and Kaplan, D. ( 2008). Nations and nationalism: a global historical overview. REF 320.54 NAT 4 volume set with olive-green spines.


Britannica Online Great for pre-search and primary sources, including speeches, essays, biographies, court decisions, editorials and photos.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
General Reference Center Gold
Routledge Reference Resources


Books about Latin America and its history will be found at 970-980. Biographies can be found at 921, listed alphabetically by the subject's last name; for example, a biography of Che Guevara would carry the call number: 921 Guevara.
Ades, Dawn. (1989). Art in Latin America : the modern era, 1820-1980. 704 Ad3 1989 361 pages.
Galeano, Eduardo H. (1997). Open veins of Latin America: five centuries of the pillage of a continent. 330.98 G13 1997 317 pages.
Krauze, Enrique. (1997). Mexico: biography of power, a history of modern Mexico, 1810-1996. 972.04 K86 1997 872 pages.
Santoni, Pedro, ed. (2008). Daily lives of civilians in wartime Latin America: from the wars of independence to the Central American civil wars. 980 DAI 329 pages.


For these Gale Group Resources, try the following subject terms: You can modify the subject terms to fit your particular interest.
Academic OneFile
Biography in Context For information on famous people associated with modern Latin America. Search by the person's last name.
Expanded Academic ASAP
General OneFile
World History In Context
AtoZ World Culture
SIRS You can modify the subject terms to fit your particular interest.
World News Digest

Internet resources

CIA World Factbook Authoritative information, statistics, maps for every country in the world.
Illinois State University A pathfinder with a useful chronology of Latin American history, a glossary of terms and links to sites on specific countries and events.
LANIC The Latin America Network Information Center. Hosted by the University of Texas, with links to topics like history, geography, language, customs, media, government, etc. Many of these are Spanish or Portuguese language sites!
University of Washington A pathfinder to electronic resources on Latin American history.

BPL: Electronic Resources

History Study Center. Great introduction to modern Latin American history plus many primary sources.

Updated, 4./11