Good Neighbors: Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Seventeen Other Countries

Good Neighbors: Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Seventeen Other Countries

Good Neighbors: Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Seventeen Other Countries

Good Neighbors: Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Seventeen Other Countries

Excerpt

These pages were chiefly written in the hills about Córdoba and under the long shadows of the Chilean cordillera. They are written in affection for thousands of Latin Americans who have received me in friendship during my fifteen years' wanderings in their homelands. They are written in candor, in an effort to escape the romanticism which so readily besets Northern wanderers in lands where summer is winter and the language of Cervantes takes the place of the idiom of Milton. They are written in urgency, for the Americas face their gravest threat. They are written in hope for the free and loyal alliance of the 260 millions of the twenty-one republics of the Western World.

There is a certain presumption in any outsider who essays to write of others' lands. If my Latin-American friends take offense at my candor, I answer, we of the United States can take as well as give. We, too, entertain guests who presume to hold the mirror to our life, to tell us where democracy falters, where racial bigotry stains, where economic inequities condemn millions to poverty. I have written of the laggard constitutionalism of Latin America, of the biting misery of the masses, of the threat offered by unteachable conservatives, fanatical radicals, and alien disrupters. Any Latin-American visitor can write of our Boss Hagues, our ruthless lobbies which block public will, of hungry share croppers and hounded itinerant workers, of our city slums and country tenements. I have sought to be fair, but I have undoubtedly made mistakes in emphasis and interpretation. Latin Americans will write books about the United States, they will seek to be fair, they also will make mistakes. The cause of inter- American understanding is served by a mutual frankness which risks mistakes.

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