Venezuela has become a huge source of hope and inspiration for the Left throughout the world. Some see it as a shining example of how to begin building a successful socialist state, but Western leaders see it as a dangerous enemy and accuse Chávez of being a dictator. This book reveals the truth by examining the country from the ground up. Iain Bruce explores the political changes underway in Venezuela at the level of the lives of ordinary people. Through grassroots investigations and extended interviews, he explores a series of key transformations in Venezuela: a new social economy around a network of co-operatives; workplace democracy; popular education; radical agrarian reform; participatory budgets and community planning. The result is a clear picture of everyday life in Venezuela. No other book on the country has this level of detail; it will be a key text for students of Latin American politics and social movements and of interest to anyone following the fortunes of the Bolivarian Revolution.