Historian, novelist, sociologist, diplomat, as well as one of the better known Bolivian authors, Alcides Arguedas died in 1946 after a successful writing career. His literary record includes a number of published works and a greater number unpublished, among which is a diary of twelve typewritten volumes. The present work is a collection of excerpts from that diary with prologue and notations by the Bolivian writer Moisés Alcázar. Additional volumes will follow.

Although Arguedas willed that his diary remain unpublished until fifty years after his death, his heirs permitted the present volume with the provision that identification be omitted whenever the reference is unfavorable to persons still living. In spite of the limitations imposed, the result provides a glimpse of the intellectual, the philosopher, the public moralist with the foresight of the historian, who has dedicated his observations to posterity as marginal notes to contemporary events. Highly political in content, the varied subjects include some of the author’s letters to Bolivian public figures, observations on trips abroad, and essays on historical and other Bolivian personalities. Of special interest is Arguedas’ account of the meeting with Bolivian President Germán Busch, who attacked and physically injured him for an open letter which he had written. Arguedas also left his thoughts on the revolution of 1943 and the events which led to the overthrow of the Villarroel regime three years later.

As a sample of what future volumes may bring, there is promise of extensive material for the historian, the political scientist, and the sociologist, as well as an indication of the tortuous political development of Bolivia and the environment of contrasts in which it takes place.