In commemoration of the sesquicentennial observance of the independence movement of May, 1810, Raúl H. Castagnino has assembled this documentary essay. Castagnino believes that among Spanish Americans there are two forces at work, a basic Hispanism with an unhealthy effect on the temperament, and an anti-Hispanism, impregnated with Jacobin liberalism and English energy and enlightenment. Sometimes the conservative, caudillistic tendencies of Spain have predominated, sometimes the ideology of liberal democracy and the spirit of change and progress. He sees the May revolution as an expression of the latter, of a drive for religious, political and economic liberty. This book concerns itself with those who wrote in support of such ideas.

Castagnino has attempted to collect the liberal writings that have suffered obscurity due to vehicle of publication, literary quality, or reputation of author. He has unearthed essays, poems, editorials and dramas long since forgotten, all having in common the “spirit of May.” Some pieces have been reprinted earlier, most have been unearthed for the first time in over a century.

This book is useful in presenting a picture of contemporary thought and attitude toward the revolution of May. It fails (deliberately) to include documentation on the ground that it is intended for popular consumption, and at any rate the sources are known and accessible to the Argentine scholar.