This book is a collection of speeches and other public statements of Arturo Frondizi. The pronouncements offered here were originally made between 1958 and 1962 while he was in office as President of Argentina. Ranging over a wide variety of topics, the collected statements are organized in six groups, dealing with Argentina’s place in the world, economic development in Latin America, the nature of the inter-American community, the bases for a just peace, some specific questions in Argentine foreign policy, and problems posed at the meeting of the Organization of American States held at Punta del Este, Uruguay, early in 1962, shortly before the Argentine military coup which overthrew Frondizi’s government. Most of the speeches collected here, as the title of the book implies, deal directly or indirectly with questions in Argentine foreign policy, although some of the statements included also dwell on such subjects as the nature of Western civilization and the character of university life in Latin America.
There can be little question that Frondizi is an established and accomplished scholar. However, La política exterior argentina is not one of his scholarly works. The book is inspirational and polemical rather than analytical—the work of a statesman and political leader rather than that of an inquirer after, or reporter of, knowledge. For the benefit of readers who might otherwise miss the book’s messianic point, the volume is also equipped with a foreword by Dardo Cuneo reminding us of Frondizi’s political imprisonment and the text of a petition signed by forty-six variously prominent politicians, journalists, labor leaders, and professors, demanding his release.
The fact that this reviewer is sympathetic with Frondizi and his current cause does not improve the quality of La político exterior argentine as a contribution to the existing literature on inter-American problems. The book will no doubt take its place in that literature as an object or ingredient, rather than as a result, of research on Argentine and inter-American problems. Students seeking insight into Frondizi and his ideals will find this volume useful, as it deals far more with that subject than it does with Argentine foreign policy.