Lost in the rain

Michael Wood

His name modulated into that of a country, but he dreamed of uniting an entire continent. At one point he was president not only of Bolivia but also of what are now Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. He has been the subject of much stilted painting, of thousands of pompous statues; the object of endless hagiography and heroic rhetoric. He is the Liberator, in this novel simply called the General until the end of the first chapter, when the full roll-call of his name is solemnly performed: General Simon Jose Antonio de la Santisima Trinidad Bolivar y Palacios. Simon Bolivar for short.

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