The University of Wisconsin Press

Latin America / History / Sociology / Children


Minor Omissions
Children in Latin American History and Society
Edited by Tobias Hecht

Living in Latin America

"Unique and pioneering. There is no volume that compares with its 500-year historical scope."—Dain Borges, University of Chicago

Latin American history—the stuff of wars, elections, conquests, inventions, colonization, and all those other events and processes attributed to adults—has also been lived and partially forged by children. Taking a fresh look at Latin American and Caribbean society over the course of more than half a millennium, this book explores how the omission of children from the region's historiography may in fact be no small matter.

Children currently make up one-third of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, and over the centuries they have worked, played, worshipped, committed crimes, and fought and suffered in wars. Regarded as more promising converts to the Christian faith than adults, children were vital in European efforts to invent loyal subjects during the colonial era. In the contemporary economies of Latin America and the Caribbean—where 23 percent of people live on a dollar per day or less—the labor of children may spell the difference between survival and starvation for millions of households.

Minor Omissions brings together scholars of history, anthropology, religion, and art history as well as a talented young author who has lived in the streets of a Brazilian city since the age of nine. The book closes with the prophetic dystopian tale "The Children's Rebellion" by the noted Uruguayan writer Cristina Peri Rossi.

Tobias Hecht is the author of At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil. A freelance writer, editor, and literary translator, he holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge.

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September 2002
304 pp.    6 x 9
27 illus.

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