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The Crimson Bookshelf

SOUTH AMERICAN PROGRESS. By C. H. Haring. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Mass. 1934. 241 pages. $2.50.

By R. W. P.

IN a field that has been far too little covered by our northerly inclined historians Professor Haring, long famous for his course in Latin-American history, has now presented in printed form a much needed resume of the complicated story of South American development from 1800 to the present time. Here, within the space of 240 pages, the writer has outlined the difficult century and a quarter of transition from Spanish rule toward political independence.

The period, as Professor Haring describes it, is so twisted a maze of civil warfare and international dispute that condensation of the story has been very difficult. Wisely the author has confined himself to a survey of only the more important nations, such as the A B C powers, with more detailed investigations into such major issues as the control of the Rio de in Plat and the balance of power on the Pacific coast.

Even with this restriction it is apparent that Professor Haring has been in constant fear of allowing his explanations to occupy too much, and this fear has proved rather injurious to the book. For the presentation often becomes jerky and terse as the historian hurries from one episode to another, with the inevitable result of producing an account that is sometimes hard to follow with sustained interest. This stylistic difficulty somewhat mars an otherwise very valuable book.

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