This substantial monograph is focused primarily on the foreign policy of Chile, as the “Long Land” expanded its interests from its immediate environment to include the entire continent of South America and occasionally the Great Powers while seeking to defend and promote the welfare of the nation. In relating this progress from 1830 to 1905, Burr has studied in exhaustive detail the various conflicts and accommodations of Chile with other nations of the continent and the powers beyond the seas.

The major problems which have been subjected to careful analysis are the war with Peru and Bolivia, 1837-1839 (which is done particularly well), the subsequent rivalry with Peru, the American Union and its war with Spain, the maneuverings prior to the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), the tortuous negotiations which finally terminated hostilities, the revolution of 1891, and the differences with the United States which occurred during and after the revolution. The final chapters are devoted principally to disputes with Argentina concerning the boundary between the two nations.

The view of the author is that Chile was especially sophisticated in defining national objectives and weighing the attitudes and motives of other powers as they related to Chile so that during the seventy-five years from 1830 to 1905 “. . . Chilean leadership was remarkably successful in securing and maintaining Chile’s hegemony on the Pacific Coast, whether by reason or by force” (p. 263). If one is inclined to doubt occasionally that Chilean leadership was always as shrewd and far-sighted as the author indicates, it is also true that in this long and frequently involved investigation the author has proved his point.

The volume contains an exhaustive bibliography, an adequate index, and copious footnotes assembled (probably contrary to the wishes of the author) at the back of the book, so as to infuriate the careful reader. Most readers will wish that more than one map had been included to define areas in dispute.

In view of the substantial contribution which has been made, it is almost gratuitous to observe that Burr’s definition of power politics (pp. 3-4) seems to be unnecessarily involved, that the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 did not provide for joint control of an isthmian canal (p. 80), that “implementational” is an unusual word (p. 86), that nitrates were “found” before 1870 (p. 109), and that Chilean forces did not “destroy” (p. 145) the Independencia (it ran aground). In addition, there is room to doubt that any conflict of consequence was threatened between the United States and Colombia when a French company received a concession to build a canal (p. 147). The casualty figures for the “Baltimore” affair differ substantially from the standard accounts (p. 194), and the government of Chile was not truly “parliamentary” after 1891 (p. 198).

These minor criticisms do not alter the fact that this is a good book. It is not a book for the casual reader but instead is more suitable for one of considerable sophistication in things Latin American. The more mature student especially should be grateful to Professor Burr for his exhaustive research and analysis.