This is the first volume of a revised biography of Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre first published in 1939 as Haya de la Torre, el Indoamericano. Felipe Cossio del Pomar, a close personal friend and political associate of Haya de la Torre, has completely rewritten his previous version and added much new material. This volume brings the story of Haya de la Torre’s life up to 1931.
Haya de la Torre’s great contribution to Latin American political theory has been his development of the idea that Latin America is different from Europe and the United States and, therefore, must cease imitating these areas and begin to establish social institutions in harmony with the true nature of the Latin American people. How he developed this idea will be clearer to all who read this book for much of it is concerned with Haya’s life during his formative years as a student living in Trujillo, Lima, and London, and with his travels during his years of exile from 1923 to 1931.
Haya de la Torre seems to have been everywhere important political events were taking place during the 1920’s. He lived in Mexico in contact with the leaders of the Revolution in 1923 and 1924. He was in Russia just after Lenin died and had a chance to attend the Fifth Congress of the Third International as a journalist, thus seeing and hearing all of the then living leaders of the Russian Revolution before Stalin murdered them. Haya lived in England during the late 1920’s as a student at the London School of Economics and Oxford University and took classes with such stimulating teachers as Harold Laski, B. Malinowski, and C. D. H. Cole. He lived in Italy during the rise of Mussolini’s fascism and in Germany during the period of Hitler’s rise to power.
Cossio del Pomar’s description of Haya’s wanderings makes a most interesting book which will be of great value to all who would understand contemporary Latin America for the life of Haya de la Torre during the 1920’s as an exile wandering around Europe and America looking for ideas and trying to organize a political movement to redeem his country from the tyrants who were misruling it greatly resembles the life of many others who today are the political leaders of Latin America.
An index increases the value of this book which this reviewer recommends to all as a most interesting account of the development of one of Latin America’s most important political leaders.