Readings in Latin-American Civilization: 1492 to the Present

Readings in Latin-American Civilization: 1492 to the Present

Readings in Latin-American Civilization: 1492 to the Present

Readings in Latin-American Civilization: 1492 to the Present


Teachers of Latin-American history and civilization have long felt the need for a book of readings comparable in character and scope to the collections used in the fields of American and European history. This book represents an effort to fill that need. The great majority of the selections are source materials; that is, they were written by contemporaries of the events or things described. I have drawn on secondary works only when suitable contemporary material was lacking. Believing that personal narratives often convey the flavor and spirit of a period more vividly than official documents--and are generally better written --I have made relatively slight use of the latter. Many of the selections included here appear in English for the first time. When existing translations seemed inadequate I have translated the material anew. Brief introductions and headnotes provide the student with background information concerning the authors and subject matter of the readings.

Within the limits imposed by space considerations I have tried to make this anthology broadly representative of the major Latin-American creeds or ideals, political, social, and literary. Occasionally I have juxtaposed exponents of rival doctrines in direct debate. I do not expect that all teachers will agree with my relative emphasis on the various periods and topics, or with my choice of specific readings. Space limitations, the availability of material, and my own teaching experiences and historical points of view have influenced my judgment in these matters.

I have noted the sources of all readings. Omissions and interpolations in the text have been indicated in the usual manner. In order to save space, the footnotes which originally appeared with scholarly articles have often been omitted. My own notes carry the initials B.K. A glossary defines those foreign terms which seemed to require special definition.

Finally, I should like to express my appreciation to all who helped me to bring this project to its conclusion. In particular I wish to thank the following for assistance cheerfully rendered: Drs. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble of the School of American Research at the Museum of New Mexico; Professor Earl W. Thomas of Vanderbilt University; and Professors Francisco Herrera y Sánchez, Warren F. Manning, and J. C. Easton, all of West Virginia University.


Morgantown, West Virginia . . .

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