I’m currently rereading Luis Alberto Romero’s excellent Breve historia contemporánea de la Argentina as I prepare to draft the “backround” chapter of my book. Both because it’ll be a useful exercise for me to critically engage Romero, and because you guys might want to bone up a bit on your Argentine history, I’m going to use this rereading as an opportunity to write short posts on the major developments of the last hundred y pico years, from the consolidation of the state in the late 1800s through the menemato of the ’90s. (And if you’re moved to read Romero’s book, all the better! You can find it in English on Amazon.)
As I do this, I’d love to be able to juxtapose Romero’s take with what is to my mind the other giant of the genre, David Rock’s Argentina, 1516-1987. Romero’s rather to the left and an obvious fan of what might loosely be termed “social democracy,” while Rock delivers a generally more conservative and economics-heavy analysis centered on the country’s relationship to the world. I think the historiographic contrast would be entertaining — at least to those among you who, like me, are entertained by such things. But sadly I’ve left my copy of the book back in Pittsburgh, so it’ll have to wait until I head back for a bit in June.
For the moment, then, it’s just going to be you, me, and Luis. First up: Argentina Consolidates its Oligarchy, 1879-1916.