"I have been lucky," said Maury A. Bromsen 2G, Wednesday, an enthusiastic student of Hispanic America, after learning that he had won several, thousand dollars in the form of two fellowships, making for him a total of five fellowships in as many years.
The 27-year-old Ph.D. candidate's latest honors are the Woodbury Lowery Travel Fellowship and a grant for field work from the Social Research Council, a branch of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Almost as soon as he learned of his success, Bromsen received a personal invitation from his old friend, Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra, President of Ecuador, to be a guest at the royal palace as soon as he arrives, sometime in October.
Latin Americans Individualistic
"Latin Americans don't like to be kicked around," said Bromsen, an open admirer of the spirit of their culture, when asked his views on their present day political status.
"They are the greatest of individualists," he continued, "But they have had to overcome a revolutionary tradition left by the Spaniards. In a hundred years they have made remarkable progress."
In the years since 1939, when Bromsen graduated from City College of New York and decided to specialize in Latin American history, he has traveled and lectured in nearly every one of the republics south of the border. For one period he was sponsored by the State Department as an official exchange student.
It was while lecturing at the University of Chile that he made the acquaintance of the present President of Ecuador, then a senior member of the same faculty.
Puts Faith In Culture
"Only in backward countries such as Paraguay and Bolivia, where illiteracy and disease abound, does one find true dictatorships today," he asserted in contradicting the popular notions prevalent among northern peoples.
"South American students, though generally born into well-off families, seem to have a highly developed social sense," he explained, "and they are not only truly liberal in their ideas, but are a potent political influence."
As a model of this type, Bromsen points to his friend Velasco Ibarra, whom he calls "a great liberal and the most brilliant ruler in South America today."
In his Claverly Hall room, the prospective Ph.D. has hung a plaque of the subject of his thesis, Jose Manuel Balmaceda, President of Chile from 1886-91, given to him by the son of that "great hero of the people of Chile."