Fractured Utopias

Roger Burbach’s Fractured Utopias is a personal saga of his observations and participation in the revolutions of Latin America. In the summer of 1969, he journeyed to Cuba in order to work in the sugar cane fields and to explore the reality of Che Guevara’s concept of the New Man and Woman in a revolutionary society.

Residing in Chile during the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende, he worked in a research institute on the ties between multinational corporations and the Chilean bourgeoisie. On September 11, 1973 he witnessed the bombing of the presidential palace by General Augusto Pinochet, ending the first experiment in electoral socialist democracy in the Americas.

Throughout the 1980s, determined to defeat another US backed counter-revolution, Burbach worked with the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as it resisted the onslaught of the US. He reported on the bloody counterinsurgency led by the CIA on the Honduran border and interviewed US ambassadors, State Department officials, White House aides, and Pentagon officials, to inform the Sandinistas and the popular movements of the Central America isthmus on the interventionist strategies of the Reagan administration.

Woven into the narrative of political and historical analysis is Burbach’s own story: from his childhood on a dairy farm in Wisconsin to his search for love and companionship in the midst of revolution. In 1989, he suffered a spinal injury in the Pacific Ocean that put him in a wheelchair. As “actually existing socialism” collapsed around the globe, Burbach’s personal and political utopias fractured. Nonetheless, he continues his quest for new utopias—a Sisyphean endeavor that will never end for humankind.

Published by Freedom Voices in 2017.

By making a small donation to CENSA,  you can get the prologue and first two chapters of Roger Burbach’s forthcoming book: Fractured Utopias: A Personal Odyssey With History. Receive this and help defray the editorial and promotional expenses by donating $3.00 or more to CENSA, a non-profit organization.


ABOUT ROGER BURBACH: Roger Burbach is director of the Center for the Study of the Americas and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written extensively on Latin America and US foreign policy for over four decades. His first book, Agribusiness in the Americas (1980), co-authored with Patricia Flynn, is regarded as a classic in the research of transnational agribusiness corporations and their exploitative role in Latin America. His most notable book is Fire in the Americas (1987), co-authored with Orlando Núñez, which is an informal manifesto of the Nicaraguan revolution during the 1980s. With the collapse of twentieth-century socialism in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe he began to study the emergent system of globalization and to write about the new Latin American social movements and the renewed quest for socialism in the twenty-first century.

Publishers interested in the complete manuscript can contact Burbach’s literary agent, Cecile Earle.