Written as an introductory text for university students and the general public, this text is a profound reflection on the "Argentine dilemma" and the challenges that the country faces as it tries to rebuild democracy. Romero reconstructs and analyzes Argentina's tortuous, often tragic modern history, from the "alluvial society" born of mass immigration, to the dramatic years of Juan and Eva Peron, to the recent period of military dictatorship and democracy. For this first English-language edition, Romero has written a new chapter covering the 1990s.
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Luis Alberto Romero is Professor of History at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina. Among his other books is (with Leandro H. Gutiarrez) Sectores populares, cultura y polÃtica: Buenos Aires en la entreguerra (Sudamericana, 1995).
James P. Brennan is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of The Labor Wars in Cardoba, 1955-1976: Ideology, Work, and Labor Politics in an Argentine Industrial City (Harvard, 1995).Review:
“Luis Alberto Romero has written a book that is comprehensive, balanced, and full of insights into the development—and turmoil—of modern Argentine history. This book can serve as a starter for anyone interested in the topic. Specialists too will rely on it for its analysis and detail. James Brennan’s translation is outstanding.”
—Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University
“The purpose of this book is to provide a straightforward synthesis of twentieth-century Argentine history in all its complexity and paradox. . . . Romero focuses on Argentina’s place in the larger world, the role of the state, and the influence of culture and intellectuals on the nation’s development.”
—Richard J. Walter, American Historical Review
“An excellent history, with a fine balance between the economic, the political and the social. Romero is particularly good on the social history of the earlier twentieth century, charting the effects of the rapid cultural modernization that would be created by Peronism’s promise of welfare and cultural autarky.”
—Jon Beasley-Murray, Times Literary Supplement
“Argentina’s current economic and political crisis is symptomatic of its failure to forge a viable, modern economy and to consolidate democracy during the 20th century. So argues leading Argentine historian Romero in his timely and insightful synthesis. With a profound grasp of scholarly literature, Romero writes lucidly and incisively about the national and international forces that have undermined economic development, democracy, and social justice in modern Argentina.”
—S. J. Hirsch, Choice
“A fascinating and well-translated account of Argentina’s misadventures over the last century by one of that country’s brightest historians.”
—Kenneth Maxwell, Foreign Affairs
“The workings of democracy dominate the current writing on Argentina. By making democracy its centerpiece, the impressive synthesis of the twentieth-century history of Argentina by Luis Alberto Romero exemplifies the genre.”
—David Rock, Latin American Research Review
“Luis Alberto Romero, a highly respected Argentine historian and professor at the University of Buenos Aires, here provides a balanced and nuanced analysis of the complex history of the country. Romero’s straightforward writing and James Brennan’s superb translation of the 1994 Spanish original make this an excellent starter for anyone interested in Argentina, and it should work very well as an undergraduate textbook.”
—Mariano Ben Plotkin, Hispanic American Historical Review
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