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The Singer's Needle: An Undisciplined History of Panamá
by Ezer Vierba
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-0-226-34231-3 | eISBN: 978-0-226-34259-7 | Paper: 978-0-226-34245-0
Library of Congress Classification F1566.V54 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 972.87

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
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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