George Ciccariello-Maher

On Wednesday evening, May 22, the Chestnut Hill Book Festival will host an evening reading, discussion complete with a wine and cheese reception with George Ciccariello-Maher, author of the newly released book, “We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution” at the Chestnut Hill Hotel, 8200 Germantown Ave. The talk begins at 7 p.m. and will take place in the Bombay Room.

With the recent death of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, Mr. Ciccariello-Maher, a professor of political theory at Drexel University, addresses a timely, interesting, and perhaps controversial subject with his in depth study of the history that led to the election of Mr. Chavez who until his death had been the contemporary face of Venezuelan politics and a leader of its anticapitalist revolution. In We Created Chávez, by examining social movements and revolutionary groups active before and during the Chávez era, provides a broader, more nuanced account of Chávez’s rise to power and the years of activism that preceded it.

Mr. Ciccariello-Maher will discuss his interviews with grassroots organizers, former guerrillas, members of neighborhood militias, and government officials who’s accounts present a new history of Venezuelan political activism. Mr. Ciccariello recounts the struggle since 1958 against corruption and repression which led leftist guerrillas, women, Afro-Venezuelans, indigenous people and students to rise up in a social movement which led to dynamic interplay between the Chavez government, social revolutionaries and the Venezuelan people.

George Ciccariello-Maher is a writer, radical political theorist, and currently Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He has taught radical theory and politics at Drexel, U.C. Berkeley, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas. He holds a B.A. in Government and Economics from St. Lawrence University, a B.A. Hons. and M.A. in Social and Political Sciences from St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley.

He appears and is quoted frequently in the media on subjects ranging from Venezuelan politics to the Occupy Movement, notably Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, Telemundo, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and Brazil’s Gazeta do Povo.

He is currently working on a theoretical analysis of violence and revolutionary identity in French syndicalist Georges Sorel, Black revolutionary Frantz Fanon, and Latin American philosopher of liberation Enrique Dussel entitled Decolonizing Dialectics.

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