In his most recent book, Brazilian sociologist Jose´ Maurı´cio Domingues puts to good use his own previous work in contemporary sociological theory to advance a timely and provocative account of the current phase of modernity in Latin America. Indeed, the text begins with the disclaimer that it belongs to the genre of ‘the sociological theory of modernity with special reference to Latin America’ (p. xviii) rather than to Latin American studies as such. I believe this move is both necessary and welcome. Necessary, because we are in desperate need of scholarly accounts of the continent’s situation that interpret it in terms of its own trajectory during the 20th century. Yet what we get instead are either newer forms of Eurocentrism that unhappily speak of a ‘Brazilianization of the West’ or naı¨ve accounts that praise the continent’s inner beauties and endless emancipatory resources (as though the Zapatistas in Mexico or Chavez in Venezuela could do no wrong). Domingues, for his part, moves well beyond both types of shortcomings. And the book is also welcome because the author locates himself, deservedly in my view, in the footsteps of the best sociology produced in this corner of the world during the 20th century.