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Rehrmann, Norbert

Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolívar: The Story of the Man Who Freed Latin America)

Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, April 2009 240 pp. with pictures
ISBN: 978-3-8031-3630-5

El Libertador, Simon Bolivar, was South America’s most charismatic hero. Born in 1783 in Caracas, Venzuela, into an extremely wealthy, landowning family descended from the Spanish royal family, he died in 1830 in Columbia as a poor and ostracised man. From the sighting of Napoleon in Paris which stirred the young man’s blood, to teaming up with veteran revolutionist and freedom fighter Francesco Miranda and founding the Patriotic Party, he was determined to free Venezuela from the shackles of the Spanish motherland: on 5 July 1811 independence was declared. Military leader, politician, great thinker, prolific writer, womanizer, Bolivar was instrumental in achieving independence. But he was no god. Rehrmann succeeds in humanising the revolutionary. An insightful evaluation also of the myth of Bolivar in South American politics and culture now, this timely biography is engrossing.

‘An engaging biography.’Süddeutsche Zeitung

‘This lively analysis reveals Bolívar as one driven by ideals, but brutal, more of a legend than an example to the current Latin American governments.’
Literarische Welt


Norbert Rehrmann is Professor of Humanities at the Technical University of Dresden and was guest lecturer in Argentina and Venezuela. He lives in Kassel and is a regular contributor to publications such as Lettre International and Die Zeit. He has written and edited a large number of books on subjects relating to Spain and South America.

Previous works include:
Lateinamerikanische Geschichte. Kultur, Politik, Wirtschaft Im Überblick (Rowohlts Enzyklopädie, 2005); Das schwierige Erbe von Sefarad: Juden und Mauren in der spanischen Literatur und Geschichtsschreibung. Von der Romantik bis zur Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Vervuert, 2002); Spanien und die Sepharden: Geschichte, Kultur, Literatur (Niemeyer, 1999) – together with Andreas Voechert; Lateinamerika aus spanischer Sicht. Exilliteratur und Panhispanismus zwischen Realität und Fiktion (1939-1975) (Vervuert, 1996); “Ein sagenhafter Ort der Begegnung”: Lion Feuchtwangers Roman Die Jüdin von Toledo im Spiegel von Kulturgeschichte und Literaturwissenschaft (edition tranvía,1996).


Application for assistance with translation costs – Germany

Translation rights available from:
Verlag Klaus Wagenbach
Emser Str. 40/41
10719 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 235151 11
Contact: Dr. Susanne Schüssler

Verlag Klaus Wagenbach is an independent publishing house founded in 1964 in Berlin. Its programme comprises contemporary and twentieth-century literature, cultural history, the history of art, and politics. A particular area of interest is Italian literature, alongside translations from the French, Spanish and English and original German-language works. Among its authors are A. L. Kennedy, Erich Fried, Sergio Pitol, Jorge Edwards, Andrea Camilleri, Natalia Ginzburg, Luigi Malerba, Manuel Vázquez Montalban, Michel Houellebecq, Peter Burke, Natalie Zemon Davies and Stephen Greenblatt. The house has been called ‘the independent publisher for wild readers.’