The reader familiar with Germani’s voluminous publications will find little new in this collection of published studies, some reworked, dating from 1956 to 1962. But even if “basic Germani,” this book is provocative, varied, and worth reading. The author discusses his theories of social change and the transition from traditional to industrial society, presents a historical schematization of Latin American development, and offers specific studies on Argentina, treating immigration, the broadening political base, Peronista, and the family.

Statistical and historical data measure change in Latin America and Argentina, opposing those areas to a theoretical structure. Germani emphasizes social-phychological factors that demonstrate conditions dissimilar from those of the classic models for development. He reiterates that change creates imbalances and tensions in social structures which include unequally developed segments and in which traditional power groups have an inbuilt “ideological traditionalism.” The essay analyzing Peronism and contrasting it to European fascist movements, written in 1956, contains a credo that lends personal and historical interest.