The following books are reviewed by Charles W. Arnade, University of of South Florida.

Let me say with all frankness that I am most sorry that this study was not available when I wrote my book dealing with the formation of Bolivia. The Nieto Vélez book, although it is nothing radically new, is the best and clearest sketch of the mechanism that triggered the War of Independence in the Andean countries. I think this book proves once more—and with new sources—that independence would not have come when it came if the Napoleonic invasion had not occurred. Even with the French occupation of Spain independence might not have succeeded if Ferdinand VII had been of a different fiber.

As to Peru, the author gives much credit to Viceroy Abascal for avoiding the tumults and confusions in 1808-1810 that occurred in Chuquisaea, La Paz, Quito, Santiago, and Buenos Aires. Abascal clearly understood the dangers and had an admirable historical perspective, a vision of the future, a realistic view of the Spanish political situation, and the juggling for true power of the various factions at home and in the Empire after the fall of the Bourbons. If Ferdinand had only possessed the perspicacia and courage of an Abascal!

Many other items of interest emerge from this study that are worthy of deep debate. Furthermore, Mr. Nieto Vélez has a great ability for explaining complicated concepts in precise sentences with clear words. His bibliography and notes are most illuminating. This then is an important— crucial—book in the bibliography of the War of Independence.