First published in 1938, and frequently reissued, this is an excellent example of Argentine revisionist historiography of the era 1776-1852. It is a study in right wing dependency theory which argues that the liberals sold Argentina out when they overthrew Juan Manuel de Rosas, opted for Free Trade and the de facto colonial status in which, Rosa contends, Argentina has remained an all too willing partner. Rosa assumes that Argentina’s crafts would have prospered with protection where they declined under Free Trade. But this is not an example of counter-factual history. No significant arguments are presented and Rosa is content to lambast the Liberals and extol Rosas. Miron Burgin’s book on the same period is infinitely superior. Burgin, however, is mentioned only once in this revised edition.

The author’s critique of the liberal’s deformation of criollo culture is telling. Unfortunately, it is rooted in national character and seems mired in the nineteenth century. Today, such arguments are merely tiresome. The study is most important as an example—polemical, angry, and occasionally witty—of a particular historiographical school. What Rosa does not realize is that Rosas abandoned, rather than defended, the classes most desirous of change. That the liberals also abandoned them excuses neither.