Latin American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography of Core Works

Article excerpt

By Ana Maria Cobos and Ana Lya Sater. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002. 183p. alkaline $49.50 paper (ISBN 0-7864-1256-9).

Latin American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography of Core Works provides an annotated list of books for the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences in the field of Latin American studies. This bibliography is aimed at community college, undergraduate, and large public libraries, and is meant to serve as a collection development and evaluation tool for those libraries that do not have a Latin American specialist. It is also meant to assist teachers, students, and non-Latin Americanist researchers in identifying important, nonspecialist Latin American resources published in English between 1986 and 2000. Latin American Studies includes translations of key works by Latin American authors as well as important literary works by Latin American authors living abroad. It excludes periodicals, children's literature, audio-visual resources, and works about the Latino/Hispanic experience in the United States.

Latin American Studies is divided into six chapters: "Reference Works," "Descriptive Accounts and Travel Guides," "Humanities," "Languages and Literature," "Social Sciences," and "Science and Technology." In most chapters general or interdisciplinary works are listed first followed by sections dealing with specific topics and within topics by country. Descriptive, succinct annotations are provided for all citations save original works of literature. The authors note that all works in this bibliography are recommended and therefore evaluative annotations are not provided.

Coverage for several disciplines is particularly strong. The literature section will be a welcome resource to librarians collecting in this area who are unfamiliar with the wealth of works by authors from this region. Even so, omissions of recent translations of acclaimed works of some authors are puzzling. For example, translations of Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas' Singing from the Well and Before Night Falls are not included. Likewise, a translation of Cuban author Miguel Bamet's best-known work, Autobiography of a Runaway Slave, is missing. The extensive coverage in sections devoted to anthropology, economics, history, and government and politics will be helpful to librarians and students alike, and those seeking works on women, gender, and race and ethnicity will find the "Sociology" chapter to be a useful starting place for research. …