Of all the biographies I have read, I can’t remember one that I enjoyed nearly as much as Bolívar: American Liberator. Immersive as it is expansive, it’s narrative non-fiction at its best. While perhaps slightly too generous to her subject at times, Arana tells the story of how Bolívar became the Liberator of six South American countries, driven by a vision of a unified America freed from Spain. Through her thorough research, she captures the people and settings in Bolívar’s life in incredible detail. Her main conclusion, that his failure to translate his military acumen to the political sphere set the stage for the next two centuries of South American politics, makes it a relevant read.