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The Politics Portal

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Politics are the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action, the conduct of decision-making for groups. Although it is usually applied to governments, political behavior is also observed in corporate, academic, religious, and other institutions. Political science is the field devoted to studying political behavior and examining the acquisition and application of power, or the ability to impose one's will on another. Its practitioners are known as political scientists. Political scientists look at elections, public opinion, institutional activities (how legislatures act, the relative importance of various sources of political power), the ideologies behind various politicians and interest groups, how politicians achieve and wield their influence, and so on.

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The Latin American Boom (Boom latinoamericano) was a literary movement of the 1960s and 1970s when the work of a group of relatively youthful Latin American novelists became widely circulated in Europe and throughout the world. The Boom is most closely associated with Julio Cortázar of Argentina, Carlos Fuentes of Mexico, Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru, and Gabriel García Márquez of Colombia; but it also brought fame to older writers like Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda and Ernesto Sábato. Influenced by European and North American Modernism, but also by the Latin American Vanguardia movement, these writers challenged the established conventions of Latin American literature. Their work is experimental and, owing to the political climate of the Latin America of the 1960s, often very political. "It is no exaggeration", critic Gerald Martin writes, "to state that if the Southern continent was known for two things above all others in the 1960s, these were, first and foremost, the Cuban Revolution and its impact both on Latin America and the Third World generally, and secondly, the Boom in Latin American fiction, whose rise and fall coincided with the rise and fall of liberal perceptions of Cuba between 1959 and 1971." The sudden success of the Boom authors was in large part because their works were among the first Latin American novels to be published in Europe, by publishing houses such as Barcelona's avant-garde Seix Barral in Spain. Indeed, Frederick M. Nunn writes that "Latin American novelists became world famous through their writing and their advocacy of political and social action, and because many of them had the good fortune to reach markets and audiences beyond Latin America through translation and travel—and sometimes through exile."

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Cuban missiles.jpg
Credit: United States Air Force

Photo taken by a Lockheed U-2 spy plane of the San Cristobal MRBM launch site in Cuba, November 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although this image was taken days after the crisis had ended (October 28), this image has become iconic of the crisis to the point where it is often cited incorrectly as having been taken during the crisis.

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John McCain in 2009

John Sidney McCain III (born 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. He secured the Republican nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election.

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