Miniature Messages: The Semiotics and Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps (Hardback)
  • Miniature Messages: The Semiotics and Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps (Hardback)
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Miniature Messages: The Semiotics and Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps (Hardback)

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£86.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 21/07/2008
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In Miniature Messages, Jack Child analyzes Latin American postage stamps, revealing the messages about history, culture, and politics encoded in their design and disseminated throughout the world. While postage stamps are a sanctioned product of official government agencies, Child argues that they accumulate popular cultural value and take on new meanings as they circulate in the public sphere. As he demonstrates in this richly illustrated study, the postage stamp conveys many of the contestations and triumphs of Latin American history.

Child combines history and political science with philatelic research of nearly forty thousand Latin American stamps. He focuses on Argentina and the Southern Cone, highlighting stamps representing the consolidation of the Argentine republic and those produced under its Peronist regime. He compares Chilean stamps issued by the leftist government of Salvador Allende and by Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. Considering postage stamps produced under other dictatorial regimes, he examines stamps from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. Child studies how international conflicts have been depicted on the stamps of Argentina, Chile, and Peru, and he pays particular attention to the role of South American and British stamps in establishing claims to the Malvinas/Falkland Islands and to Antarctica. He also covers the cultural and political history of stamps in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Grenada, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela and elsewhere. In Miniature Messages, Child finds the political history of modern Latin America in its "tiny posters."

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822341796
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 236 x 163 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"To the non-stamp collector the world of philately can be a somewhat desiccated subject. However, here in a well-illustrated, thorough and entertaining book, Jack Child, having examined some 40,000 Latin American postage stamps certainly manages to engage the interest of the wider reader. . . . [Cild] has managed to marshal numerous miniature messages into a fascinating and valuable text." - Igor Cusack, Bulletin of Latin American Research
"Child's book is a careful analysis of the body of existing Latin American stamps. Making use of a wide array of cultural studies knowledge about Latin America, he examines the stamps as minitexts, not quite as one might a poem, but as bounded complexes of semiotic meaning. The result is fascinating and the first such analysis of the Latin American corpus. It is important to note that this study has been published by Duke University Press, the premier forum for Latin American cultural studies and that the book comes accompanied with a CD of the actual stamps themselves, organized in an accessible registry." - David William Foster, Chasqui
"The passion and expertise with which this book is written confirm, in the author's own words, that it has been a 'labour of love.' Beautifully written and illustrated, Miniature Messages also offers a colourful and engaging tool for teaching Latin American studies, an approach taken by the author throughout a teaching career dedicated to improving understanding of the region whose students, we can speculate, must clearly have been among the luckiest on campus." - Gavin O'Tolle, Latin American Review of Books
"Child's book is a significant contribution to the argument that academia should expand subject legitimacy to a broader range of materials. It has also got great stories about the complex world of Latin American politics and the role of government propaganda." - Lincoln Cushing, A Contracorriente
"Professor Child. . . is that rare combination of social scientist and philatelist and bravely attempts to use the principles and methods of social science to analyse the politics of Latin-America postage stamps. . . . The study. . . is fascinating because of its breadth, his commitment to philately and the attempt to find explanations for differences in the choice, style, composition and production of postage stamps." - The London Philatelist
"Miniature Messages is a trailblazing study that demonstrates how an unfamiliar approach can throw light on different aspects of Latin American history, politics, and culture."-David Bushnell, author of Simon Bolivar: Liberation and Disappointment
"The thoroughness and in-depth coverage of Miniature Messages are remarkable. Jack Child is probably the only person to possess the requisite knowledge and background to combine political science, history, and philately so well."-Frank Nuessel, author of Linguistic Approaches to Hispanic Literature
"Child's book is a careful analysis of the body of existing Latin American stamps. Making use of a wide array of cultural studies knowledge about Latin America, he examines the stamps as minitexts, not quite as one might a poem, but as bounded complexes of semiotic meaning. The result is fascinating and the first such analysis of the Latin American corpus. It is important to note that this study has been published by Duke University Press, the premier forum for Latin American cultural studies and that the book comes accompanied with a CD of the actual stamps themselves, organized in an accessible registry." -- David William Foster * Chasqui *
"Child's book is a significant contribution to the argument that academia should expand subject legitimacy to a broader range of materials. It has also got great stories about the complex world of Latin American politics and the role of government propaganda." -- Lincoln Cushing * A Contracorriente *
"Professor Child. . . is that rare combination of social scientist and philatelist and bravely attempts to use the principles and methods of social science to analyse the politics of Latin-America postage stamps. . . . The study. . . is fascinating because of its breadth, his commitment to philately and the attempt to find explanations for differences in the choice, style, composition and production of postage stamps." * The London Philatelist *
"The passion and expertise with which this book is written confirm, in the author's own words, that it has been a 'labour of love.' Beautifully written and illustrated, Miniature Messages also offers a colourful and engaging tool for teaching Latin American studies, an approach taken by the author throughout a teaching career dedicated to improving understanding of the region whose students, we can speculate, must clearly have been among the luckiest on campus." -- Gavin O'Tolle * Latin American Review of Books *
"To the non-stamp collector the world of philately can be a somewhat desiccated subject. However, here in a well-illustrated, thorough and entertaining book, Jack Child, having examined some 40,000 Latin American postage stamps certainly manages to engage the interest of the wider reader. . . . [Child] has managed to marshal numerous miniature messages into a fascinating and valuable text." -- Igor Cusack * Bulletin of Latin American Research *

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