These two books, somewhat similar in objective, differ substantially in scope and method. Professor del Río’s work is essentially an English version of two lectures given at various places in South America during the summer of 1959. The lectures were expanded slightly, and the text was supplied with references to further reading. The first lecture deals with historical and cultural relations between the United States and Spain and the second with the Hispanic American relations with the United States. Professor Urbanski deals with the Spanish-American relations only incidentally in his chapter on concepts of cultures and in his consideration of Anglo-American and Latin American civilizations and the influences of the separate colonial heritages.

Although Professor del Río mentions the work of historians, particularly the earlier North American historians of Spain, he is interested mostly in revealing ideas derived from literature, travel books, the letters and memoirs of diplomats, and the writing of others who have compared the cultures of Spain and Latin America with that of the United States. Considering his limited space he has referred to a remarkably large number of writers and has presented briefly their central points of view along with his own estimates of their validity. It is a compliment to his scholarship and literary skill that he has achieved clarity, objectivity, and continuity of interest in a work which in less competent hands could easily have fallen into a catalog of books. He deals sparingly with the political histories and international relationships of the countries he considers, and his work reveals that these subjects have not been major areas of his inquiry.

If there is a central theme to Professor del Río’s study, it is that while there have been and continue to be a “clash of culture” and antagonism between North American and Spanish or Hispanic peoples, there have also been attractions, and that many forces and influences in the modern world, partly ideological and partly technological, are moving in the direction of “the effective synthesis of various cultures.”

Professor Urbanski’s study, as noted, is primarily oriented toward what he calls an analysis of the civilizations of Angloamerica and Hispanoamerica. It is more extensive, detailed, and systematic than the study of Professor del Río and is more descriptive than analytical. It does not have a central theme but examines specific aspects of society in North America as compared with the same structures, ideas, and institutions of Latin America. He considers, among other topics, problems of the Negro and the aborigines of the two areas, education, and economic and religious influences. Although he has studied and traveled widely in Latin America and understands the variations among Latin American states, he treats the area as a whole. Sometimes he falls into stereotypes of analysis even though he is aware of this danger. In general the work is informative and objective and is an important addition to a growing field of knowledge.