Modernization in Colombia: The Laureano Gomez Years,
new book by James Henderson, professor of international studies at
Coastal Carolina University, traces the social and economic development
of Colombia during the era of controversial political leader Laureano
Gomez. The book, published by the University Press of Florida, will be
issued in March 2001.
Analyzing the complex process of development in Colombia,
Henderson explores the civil violence that defined the Gomez era even
as the country experienced unparalleled economic growth.
"Few Colombians can speak calmly of Gomez, and many blame him for
the violence that plagued the country from the mid-1940s to the mid-
1960s," says Henderson, a leading scholar of Latin American history and
culture. "But he was an adroit politician and the key figure in
Colombia's transition to modernity."
Henderson explores the myths surrounding the long and turbulent
career of the combative Conservative leader, offering an analysis of
his writings, speeches, congressional debates and editorials. Henderson
also chronicles the fierce rivalry between G�mez and his Liberal
opponent Alfonso L�pez Pumarejo, which ultimately led to the
fratricidal civil war known as La Violencia.
Henderson joined the Coastal faculty in 1986. He earned a
bachelor�s degree in history from Centenary College of Louisiana, a
master�s degree in history from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D.
in Latin American history from Texas Christian University. Before
coming to Coastal, Henderson was a faculty member at Grambling State
University in Louisiana. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and has
written numerous books and scholarly articles on Latin American history
and culture, including A Reference Guide to Latin American History.