Chile: Land and Society

Chile: Land and Society

Chile: Land and Society

Chile: Land and Society

Excerpt

This work is an attempt to analyze the agrarian problem in Chile. It is based on familiarity with Chilean social institutions gained during a former prolonged residence in that country and during an additional year recently spent there in gathering detailed data by interviews, visiting different kinds of rural properties, and carrying on investigations in libraries, archives, and government offices. Traveling from end to end of the republic, I was able to see the problem in its practical aspects in each of the several geographical sections. Observations carried out during these two periods of residence, separated as they were by an interval of twenty years, made it possible for me to note many changes that had taken place. Thus something of perspective, both in time and space, was secured.

Throughout the study the problem has been viewed sympathetically. It seems impossible for one to sojourn in Chile without being attracted by the natural charm of the land itself and by the people whose character is best described by their own word, simpático. I have felt also that I was studying the conditions in the midst of which many of my Chilean friends actually live--conditions that underlie the whole structure of their society and will, in large measure, determine the happiness and prosperity of their country. Most helpful assistance has been rendered by many Chileans, both in their official capacities and as individuals, and there has been a sustained effort to carry on the investigation in as friendly a manner as if the writer were himself a Chilean, yet with no sacrifice of frankness or loss of that perspective so difficult to obtain except as one looks on from the outside. Some years'

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