Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear (1868-1942) was an Argentine aristocrat who early joined the Radicals. For many years and even while president of the republic (1922-1928) his politics were a matter of noblesse oblige, and he often lived in France between political forays. Luna sheds no new light on those years. He treats them briefly so as to focus on Alvear’s more serious activities in trying to lead the Radicals back to power after Justo José de Uriburu’s coup of 1930. Alvear failed, says Luna, because he could never see national affairs other than superficially, and because neither he nor anyone else was able to draw the broken party back together again. The book has a modicum of research in it and reflects a good knowledge of blow-by-blow politics. Luna’s postulates are probably sound: for example, that the Radicals constantly fell short during the 1930s and early 1940s because they made no meaningful appeal to the people but, instead, were concentrating on just the thing which the dictators could always thwart, a free access to the polls. The chief difficulty with this book is that it tends to see people in two dimensions, and political groupings without contexts or relationships. Thus for those of us who did not live in Argentina during the 1920s and 1930s this book has only limited value.
Book Review| February 01 1967
Alvear. By Luna, Félix.
Libros Argentinos. Pp.
332. Paper. $2.50.
Hispanic American Historical Review (1967) 47 (1): 125.
Clifton B. Kroeber; Alvear. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 1967; 47 (1): 125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-47.1.125
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