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Becoming the Tupamaros
Solidarity and Transnational Revolutionaries in Uruguay and the United States

Author(s): Lindsey Churchill

In Becoming the Tupamaros, Lindsey Churchill explores an alternative narrative of US-Latin American relations by challenging long-held assumptions about the nature of revolutionary movements like the Uruguayan Tupamaros group. A violent and innovative organization, the Tupamaros demonstrated that Latin American guerrilla groups during the Cold War did more than take sides in a battle of Soviet and US ideologies. Rather, they digested information and techniques without discrimination, creating a homegrown and unique form of revolution.

Churchill examines the relationship between state repression and revolutionary resistance, the transnational connections between the Uruguayan Tupamaro revolutionaries and leftist groups in the US, and issues of gender and sexuality within these movements. Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver, for example, became symbols of resistance in both the United States and Uruguay. and while much of the Uruguayan left and many other revolutionary groups in Latin America focused on motherhood as inspiring women's politics, the Tupamaros disdained traditional constructions of femininity for female combatants. Ultimately, Becoming the Tupamaros revises our understanding of what makes a Movement truly revolutionary.

Biography of Author(s)

Lindsey Churchill is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Oklahoma.


  • "With the Cold War 20 years behind us, Churchill's work represents a new approach, examining the Tupamaros in terms of local issues and local culture, and places it in an international context that looks beyond the Cold War conflict, placing the Tupamaros in broader, international leftist and social movements."
    --Theron Corse, author of Protestants, Revolution, and the Cuba-U.S. Bond
  • "Churchill provides a compelling analysis of the Tupamaros' role in transnational solidarity networks, as well as gender dynamics within the guerrilla group. [...] A useful study for understanding early 1970s radical movements. [...] Recommended. All levels/libraries."
  • "[A] welcome addition to the small number of English-language historical works on Uruguay. . . . Becoming the Tupamaros is an important and valuable contribution to the literature on Uruguayan history, guerrilla warfare, and the gender and racial politics of the Latin American Left in the 1960s and 1970s. It also makes a very important contribution to breaking down the walls between studies of radical politics in the U.S. and Latin America, reminding us that this generation of revolutionaries was well aware of each other and to some extent fashioned their own politics and performance in each other's reflections."
    --American Historical Review