a1 Jeremy Adelman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Histoy, Princeton University.
Latin America's workers perplex historians. Despite chronic political turmoil, revolt and undiluted class conflict, Latin America's mobilised workers have not been the vanguards of social revolution. Rather, variations of authoritarianism, populism and clientilism are said to characterise labour politics more accurately. The absence of independent working-class politics has prompted the search for aetiologies of class-formation in Latin America – the search for the missing ingredient to revolutionary working-class action.