Tuesday 28 December 2021

Liberty or Death

I always look forward to the Christmas present that I receive from my old friend Tony Hawkins ... and this year he excelled himself in his choice! He sent me a copy of LIBERTY OR DEATH: LATIN AMERICAN CONFLICTS, 1900-70 by Philip Jowett, and since I opened it I have spent several hours reading it.

The book deals with the conflicts that took place in Latin America during the first three quarters of the twentieth century, some of which I knew about (The Mexican Revolution, the Chaco War, the Leticia Incident, and the Paulista Rebellion) but a great many of which were completely new to me.

The book is divided into and Introduction, twelve chapters, and a bibliography. The Chapters include:

  1. Twenty Years of Conflict: 1900-20
  2. "Land or Liberty": The Mexican Revolution 1911-14
  3. Mexico in Turmoil: 1915-29
  4. Conflicts of the 1920s
  5. Revolutions in Brazil: 1922-38
  6. "Colossus in the North": US Military Intervention in Latin America, 1901-34
  7. "I Drink to Victory": The Chaco War 1932-35
  8. Conflicts of the 1930s
  9. War in the Amazon: 1932-41
  10. The 1940s
  11. The 1950s: Decade of Revolution
  12. The 1960s

Every chapter I read gave me ideas for mini-campaigns that I could easily refight using my PORTABLE WARGAME rules, and I have had a great struggle not to stop my current FUNNY LITTLE WARS/PORTABLE WARGAME Belle Époque project and begin looking at using the figures to fight a mini-campaign set in an imagi-nation version of Latin America!

LIBERTY OR DEATH: LATIN AMERICAN CONFLICTS, 1900-70 was written by Philip Jowett and published in 2019 by Osprey Publishing (ISBN 978 1 4728 3352 5).


  1. I'd not heard of this book before but it does sound an interesting read and as you say, one full of potential campaigns and scenarios.

    1. Steve J.,

      It was new to me as well … and I thoroughly recommend it.

      All the best,


  2. Thanks for this post. You always have interesting books to review.

    1. Chris,

      Cheers! It’s a great book, and I’m very grateful to my friend for giving it to me for Christmas.

      All the best,


  3. Glad to hear that you have recovered your enthusiasm. It sounds like you may be heading for too many projects again. Good to see you have got your "mojo" back



    1. Jan Leniston (Paul),

      Since I wrote my blog post, my health has taken a bit of a downturn again, and I can barely stay awake at times. I don’t know if it is SAD that is affecting me, but at least the lateral flow tests show that I don’t seem to have COVID.

      I am very tempted by the idea of setting an imagi-nations campaign in Latin American, but I want to look at that as a possibility for a future project. For the time being I want to concentrate on my FUNNY LITTLE WARS/PORTABLE WARGAME armies and the next couple of books I want to write.

      I will probably be taking a short break from regularly blogging for the first week or two in 2022 in order to recharge my batteries. We had hoped to take a short holiday, but until the situation regarding what the government might do to stop the continued rise in COVID infections, we are not sure if we will go away or stay at home.

      All the best,



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