Latin America: A Modern History

Latin America: A Modern History

Latin America: A Modern History

Latin America: A Modern History

Excerpt

This book is intended both for college and university students and for the general public. It differs from some other works dealing with Latin America in several respects. I have tried, successfully I hope, to avoid producing a mere handbook or a work of reference, and with this in mind I have supplemented facts with interpretation. I have not ignored the two centuries following 1550, a long period often neglected in such surveys. I have given more than the usual emphasis to the international relations of the region from the beginning of the struggle for self-government and independence to the present day, and more than average attention to the literary lights and social critics of the National period, thus permitting the Latin Americans to reveal themselves, their merits, and their conceptions of their defects. I have also stressed the region's economic relations with the outside world, especially during the decades since independence. With the objective of simplification, I have divided the story into long chronological periods. It is likely that some critics will not approve of the time-span that I have allotted to the early National period; but let it be remembered that several of the countries did not become separate nations until 1838 or later and that two of them--Cuba and Panama--did not attain complete independence until more than thirty years after 1900. If 1900 does not seem as satisfactory as some previous year for the termination of what I have described as the early National epoch, the later date will surely become more appropriate with the passing decades. On a less important point I may disturb some of the experts. I have followed the old orthography in spelling Brazilian proper names--the one in use before 1940--in order to avoid confusing those who have read or may read the works of earlier years that have universally employed this orthography.

Convinced that reading lists should be reduced to moderate limits, I have tried to confine them to the most useful and reliable books and monographs, according to my appraisal. No doubt I have omitted not . . .

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