This festschrift of 877 pages celebrates Günter Kahle’s tenure since 1967 of the chair in Iberian and Latin American history at the University of Cologne. He succeeded Richard Konetzke. The successful revival of Latin American studies in Germany after World War II owes much to these two men. Of the numerous contributors to this volume, most are German, followed far behind by Latin Americans and a sprinkling of non-German Europeans. No U.S. or British and only one French author figures among them. Accordingly, the essays, which range from sketches of material already published to able research papers, afford excellent insight into the themes of Latin American history as pursued in Germany today. Prominent among these are anticolonialism (mostly aimed at the United States), Todorov’s “other” in American contexts, and German and Austro-Hungarian interests and settlement in Latin America. Much new material on this last theme comes from German and Austrian archives.
Perhaps most worthy of mention are the following:
Hans-Jürgen Prien, “Die Haltung der nichtkatholischen Kirchen zum Revolutionsprozess in Nicaragua, 1970-1990,” an analysis of proselytizing and political propaganda by Protestant denominations, mostly U.S., during the Sandinista regime
Reinhard Liehr, “Zur Kreditfunktion der Kaufleute in Mexiko vor der Gründung der Banken, 1821-1864,” a detailing of financing strategies in the absence of banks
Horst Pietschmann, “Hamburg und Lateinamerika in der ersten Hälfte des 19 Jahrhunderts,” a fine study of commercial and political relations
Ricardo Krebs, “Universität und Gesellschaft. Das Beispiel der Universidad Católica de Chile,” an account of the struggle in Chile to establish a Catholic university in opposition to the then secularist governments and the Universidad de Chile
Claus Bussmann, “Kolumbus, anklagende Geschichtsschreibung, und christliches Gewissen. Überlegung zur Funktion der Erinnerung an den 500. Jahrestag der ‘Entdeckung’ Amerikas,” a remarkably serene examination of views of the European conquest of America and forced conversion of the natives to Christianity, with a warning against one-sided approaches
The reader will notice that my selections are mainly from the section on social and economic history. It may be much my personal preference, but I found most of the true contributions there.