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Kevin A. Young

Associate Professor of History



kayoung@history.umass.edu

(413) 545-8726

Herter Hall 624

Professor Young’s research and teaching interests are in social movements, revolution, labor, political economy, and imperialism in modern Latin America and the United States. His most recent book, due out in spring 2024, is Abolishing Fossil Fuels: Lessons from Movements That Won. The book analyzes the power of the fossil fuel industry, how the climate and Indigenous movements have chipped away at that power, and how other mass movements throughout U.S. history have defeated capitalists. His other books include Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia (2017), the edited volume Making the Revolution: Histories of the Latin American Left (2019), the coauthored book Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules and What the 99% Can Do About It (2020), and the coedited volume Trump and the Deeper Crisis (2022). Current research projects address revolutionary mobilization in El Salvador in the 1970s, the U.S.-Central America solidarity movement, and peasant politics in midcentury Bolivia.  

Research Areas

History of Latin America (especially Bolivia and El Salvador)
Imperialism
Political economy
Social movements
Political sociology
Media studies

Publications

(for full list see here)

“Our Vietnamese Compañeros: How Salvadoran Guerrillas Adapted the ‘People’s War’ Strategy.” In Transnational Communism across the Americas, ed. Marc Becker, Margaret Power, Tony Wood, and Jacob Zumoff. Urbana: University of Illinois Press (forthcoming). 

“Beyond the Comandantes: Revolutions and Revolutionaries since 1959.” Latin American Research Review 57, no. 2 (2022): 504–514. (Link

“Our Social Conquests Will Be Respected: Peasants and Military Dictatorship in Cochabamba, Bolivia.” Hispanic American Historical Review 102, no. 3 (2022): 481–512. (Link

“When Black Movements Win, Everybody But the 1% Wins.” Truthout, December 24, 2020. With Megan L. Jordan, Joshua Murray, and Michael Schwartz. (Link)

“A Tipping Point for the Defeat of Fossil Fuels? How to Stop Big Energy in Its Tracks.” TomDispatch, December 10, 2020. With Richard Lachmann and Michael Schwartz. (Link)

“The Bolivian Left’s Election Win Is a Positive Sign, But It Inherits a Dire Situation.” The Guardian, October 21, 2020. (Link)

“History Shows That Sustained, Disruptive Protests Work.” YES! July 8, 2020. (Link)

Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules and What the 99% Can Do About It (Verso, 2020). With Tarun Banerjee and Michael Schwartz. (Link)

“El Salvador’s FMLN and the Constraints on Leftist Government.” Oxford Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics, ed. Harry Vanden and Gary Prevost (October 2019). (English and Spanish versions)

Venezuelans Under Siege (film). Co-director/producer with Atenea Jiménez Lemon and Athaimarú Álvis Jiménez. 2019. (Link)

Making the Revolution: Histories of the Latin American Left (Cambridge University Press, 2019) (editor) (Link)

“Will Climate Change Make Family Separations the Norm?” Truthout, August 25, 2018. (Link)

“The Huddled Masses Were Never Welcome.” Counterpunch, September 5, 2017. (Link)

Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia (University of Texas Press, 2017) (Link)

“From Open Door to Nationalization: Oil and Development Visions in Bolivia, 1952-1969.” Hispanic American Historical Review 97, no. 1 (2017): 95-129. (English and Spanish versions)

“The Making of an Interethnic Coalition: Urban and Rural Anarchists in La Paz, Bolivia, 1946-1947.” Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 11, no. 2 (2016): 163-188. (Link)

“Hillary Clinton and Corporate Feminism.” Against the Current 175 (March-April 2015): 18-22. With Diana C. Sierra. (English and Spanish versions) 

“Washing U.S. Hands of the Dirty Wars: News Coverage Erases Washington’s Role in State Terror.” NACLA Report on the Americas 46, no. 2 (2013): 58-61. (Link)

“Purging the Forces of Darkness: The United States, Monetary Stabilization, and the Containment of the Bolivian Revolution.” Diplomatic History 37, no. 3 (2013): 509-537. (Link)

“The Real Enemy in the Middle East: Why U.S. Leaders Fear Arab Democracy.” Z Magazine (September 2012): 41-44. (Link)

Courses Recently Taught

Capitalism and Alternatives in Latin America (History 220)

History of Mexico (History 354)

The U.S. in Latin America (History 392E)

Latin American Revolutions (History 450)

Workers and Work in the Americas (History 693W)

Power and Resistance in Latin America (History 397PR)

Revolutionary Visions, Past and Present (History 200)

Strategies for Liberation (STPEC 491H)