A History of the Argentine Republic

A History of the Argentine Republic

A History of the Argentine Republic

A History of the Argentine Republic

Excerpt

Over twenty years ago I was talking at Cambridge over Argentine affairs with one who, even then, was a leader of thought and literature of Latin America, and has since attained great eminence in both. Dr Ricardo Rojas talked with me as to the best method of getting Englishmen and Argentines to understand one another. We could think of no better one than of setting the historians and writers of both countries to study one another and thus sustain and promote cultural intercourse. In this connexion I called the attention of Dr Rojas to two chapters in volume X of The Cambridge Modern History which dealt with the wars of independence in Spanish America. We spent the best hours of one Sunday reading them together. At the end both agreed that the author ought to write the History of the Argentine Republic. After more than twenty years, the writer, Mr F. A. Kirkpatrick, has at last realised this dream. To write such a book it was necessary to have an intimate acquaintance with the Spanish language and literature, an eye for nature trained by travel in South America, and a comprehensive knowledge of the many specialised works of Argentine historical scholarship. The book bears traces of all these, and is one which should appeal to Argentines and Englishmen alike.

If there is one part of the story on which the author touches a little lightly, it is that of the circumstances attending upon England's recognition of the Argentine Republic. This is quite right, for the aim of the author is to display the Argentine Republic from within rather than from without. But it will perhaps justify me in devoting some attention to that decision, which is inseparably associated with the name of George Canning. The reputa-

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