The Argentina Reader

History, Culture, Politics

The Argentina Reader

The Latin America Readers

More about this series

Book Pages: 600 Illustrations: 43 b&w photos, 2 maps Published: December 2002

General Interest > Travel, Latin American Studies > Southern Cone

Excessively European, refreshingly European, not as European as it looks, struggling to overcome a delusion that it is European. Argentina—in all its complexity—has often been obscured by variations of the "like Europe and not like the rest of Latin America" cliché. The Argentina Reader deliberately breaks from that viewpoint. This essential introduction to Argentina’s history, culture, and society provides a richer, more comprehensive look at one of the most paradoxical of Latin American nations: a nation that used to be among the richest in the world, with the largest middle class in Latin America, yet one that entered the twenty-first century with its economy in shambles and its citizenry seething with frustration.

This diverse collection brings together songs, articles, comic strips, scholarly essays, poems, and short stories. Most pieces are by Argentines. More than forty of the texts have never before appeared in English. The Argentina Reader contains photographs from Argentina’s National Archives and images of artwork by some of the country’s most talented painters and sculptors. Many selections deal with the history of indigenous Argentines, workers, women, blacks, and other groups often ignored in descriptions of the country. At the same time, the book includes excerpts by or about such major political figures as José de San Martín and Juan Perón. Pieces from literary and social figures virtually unknown in the United States appear alongside those by more well-known writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Ricardo Piglia, and Julio Cortázar.

The Argentina Reader covers the Spanish colonial regime; the years of nation building following Argentina’s independence from Spain in 1810; and the sweeping progress of economic growth and cultural change that made Argentina, by the turn of the twentieth century, the most modern country in Latin America. The bulk of the collection focuses on the twentieth century: on the popular movements that enabled Peronism and the revolutionary dreams of the 1960s and 1970s; on the dictatorship from 1976 to 1983 and the accompanying culture of terror and resistance; and, finally, on the contradictory and disconcerting tendencies unleashed by the principles of neoliberalism and the new global economy. The book also includes a list of suggestions for further reading.

The Argentina Reader is an invaluable resource for those interested in learning about Argentine history and culture, whether in the classroom or in preparation for travel in Argentina.


“[A] timely addition to Duke’s Latin America Readers series. . . .[P]rovide[s] a comprehensive view of this complex nation of some 37 million people. Recommended. . . .” — Library Journal

“[T]he best introduction for English readers to [Argentina’s] history, culture, and society. . . . [T]his collection subtly conveys the admirable and loathsome qualities of a complicated and in many ways unfathomable society.” — Benjamin Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly

"The Argentina Reader is the third title-following The Peru Reader and The Brazil Reader-in the excellent series sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. . . . [A] very well crafted, well illustrated and consistently interesting volume. . . . [T]he volume reads effortlessly well, which speaks . . . of the skill of the translators, especially the main translator, Patricia Owen Steiner." — John King, Journal of Latin American Studies

"Conveying the complex enigmatic contradiction that is Argentina in the pages of a book is accomplished in this installment of Duke’s 'Latin America Readers' series. . . . the editors provide ample context for any reader to appreciate Argentina’s rich culture and history. . . . From sports and arts to history and politics this is a welcome and timely addition to our understanding of Argentina." — Teo Ballvé, NACLA Report on the Americas

"Recommended." — E. Pang, Choice

"The collection provides a rich and stimulating overview of this country that should prove useful for a range of readers." — British Bulletin of Publications

"The coverage provided by so many essays is impressive and, for someone working in culture, enormously satisfying. . . . This volume will be a welcome adjunct text to any number of courses. . . . It would also be especially useful, given the fact that the material is all presented in English, in history courses focusing wholly or in large part on Argentina. . . . The Duke series is a brilliant idea, and one looks forward to seeing additional volumes in the series." — David William Foster, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies

"Wide-ranging. . . . [A]n excellent starting point for further reading. . . . [H]ighly recommended." — Rough Guide to Argentina

"With this expertly selected collection of primary documents and scholarly works, Gabriela Nouzeilles and Graciela Montaldo have. . . presented. . . a rich and complex introduction to Argentina. For college instructors seeking an English language anthology for a course on Argentine history and culture, this work is simply indispensable." — Matthew B. Karush, The Americas

“[It is] impossible to find a better introduction to the labyrinth, enigma, and delight that is Argentina, from the first sightings to the latest curses. Splendid and indispensable!” — Ariel Dorfman

"[A] timely and stellar collection. . . . This highly rewarding contribution will be useful for students and Argentina experts alike." — Foreign Affairs


Availability: In stock
Price: $29.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gabriela Nouzeilles is Assistant Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University.

Graciela Montaldo is Professor of Languages and Literatures at the Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments xiii

General Introduction 1

I. At the Margins of the Empire 15

The Deeds of Elal / Anonymous 19

Going Wild / Ulderico Schmidt 23

Monsters in Patagonia / Antonio Pigafetta 27

Women Captives / Ruy Diaz de Guzman 30

The Jesuit Mission / Father Strobel 34

A Gaucho Sings the Victories of the Empire / Juan Baltasar Maciel 38

The First British Invasion / Mariquita Sanchez de Thompson 40

II. To Build a Nation 43

The Revolution / Tulio Halperin Donghi 47

The Landowners' Petition / Mariano Moreno 66

The Good Citizen / Jose de San Martin 71

Women in the Fatherland / Juana Manuela Gorriti 73

The Caudillo's Order / Juan Manuel de Rosas 75

Civilization or Barbarism? / Domingo Faustino Sarmiento 80

Rosas and Washington / Pedro de Angelis 91

The Black Girl / Anonymous 93

Immigration as a Means of Progress / Juan Bautista Alberdi 95

III. Frontiers 103

The Slaughterhouse / Esteban Echeverria 107

Wars of Extermination / Charles Darwin 115

The Triple Alliance / Captain Francisco Seeber 119

One Hundred Leagues of Trench / Alfred Ebelot 126

Gauchos in and out of the State / Jose Hernandez 133

An Expedition to the Ranquel Indians / Lucio V. Mansilla 146

Letter to the President / Chief Manuel Namuncura 154

IV. Splendor and Fin de Siecle 157

The Foundation of the National State / David Vinas 161

The Paris of South America / James Scobie 170

The Modern Crowd / Jose Maria Ramos Mejia 182

Making It in America / Oreste Sola 188

The Jewish Gauchos / Alberto Gerchunoff 193

The Birth of Tango / Simon Collier 196

Bourgeois Snakes / Jose Ingenieros 203

Argentina as Latin American Avant-Garde / Ruben Dario 206

National Identity in a Cosmopolitan Society / Leopoldo Lugones 209

V. Modern Times 215

Simon Radowitzky / Osvaldo Bayer 219

The Union Civica Radical / David Rock 231

Poems to Be Read on a Trolley Car / Oliverio Girondo 251

Modern Women / Alfonsina Storni 254

X-Ray of the Pampa / Ezequiel Martinez Estrada 259

Soccer and Popular Joy / Roberto Arlt 263

Cambalache / Enrique Santos Discepolo 266

VI. Populism and New Nationalism 269

Peron and the People / Daniel James 273

Saint Evita / Tomas Eloy Martinez 296

Ramona's Revenge / Lino Palacio 304

Funes, the Memorious / Jorge Luis Borges 306

Victorian Fathers / Victoria Ocampo 313

The Foreign Gaze / Witold Gombrowicz 319

Village on the River / Juan L. Ortiz 324

House Taken Over / Julio Cortazar 328

Operation Massacre / Rodlfo Walsh 333

VII. Revolutionary Dreams 341

The Latin American Revolution according to "Che" / Ernesto "Che" Guevara 345

Are We All Neurotic? / Anonymous 352

Tucuman Is Burning / Maria Teresa Gramuglio and Nicolas Rosa 358

The Cordobazo / Agustin Tosco 364

The Words of Silence / Alejandra Pizarnik 372

The Muleteer / Atahualpa Yupanqui 375

Montoneros: Soldiers of Peron / Richard Gillespie 377

Antirevolutionary Peronism / Juan Domingo Peron 386

VIII. State Violence 395

Modernization and Military Coups / Guillermo O'Donnell 399

Artificial Respiration / Ricardo Piglia 421

The Madwomen at the Plaza de Mayo / Hebe de Bonafini and Matilde Sanchez 429

Never Again / National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons 440

Still Harboring / Juan Gelman 448

In a State of Memory / Tununa Mercado 450

Corpses / Nestor Perlongher 457

War in the South Atlantic / Graciela Speranza and Fernando Cittadini 465

IX. Democracy and Neoliberalism 473

Teaching the Republic / Raul Alfonsin 477

Living with Inflation / Osvaldo Soriano 481

Menem: A New Style in Politics / Vicente Palermo and Marcos Novaro 487

The Journalist as the People's Detective / Horacio Gonzalez 495

Roadblocks, Detours, and Crossroads / Rodolfo Rabanal 500

X. Argentina in the Age of Globalization: New Citizenships and the Politics of Memory 505

We Are All Cursed / Javier Auyero 509

Soccer and Masculinity / Eduardo Archetti 519

Amerindian Rights / State Law of Indigenous Rights 525

Feminist Awakenings / Marcela Nari 528

The Children of Death / Maria Moreno and Marta Dillon 538

Active Memory / Laura Ginsberg 544

Infinity / Cesar Aira 549

Postmodern Forgetfulness / Beatriz Sarlo 553

Suggestions for Further Readings 557

Acknowledgment of Copyrights 565

Index 571
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2914-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2885-8
Publicity material