These monographs are complementary in their separate approaches to important aspects of Uruguayan history. Cerda Catalán has inventoried and categorized Uruguayan periodical literature that dealt satirically with politics through articles and illustrations. The study’s terminal dates derive from the conclusions of two different military uprisings headed by a blanco revolutionary, Aparacio Saravia. In the first, peace came after the assassination of the hapless President Juan Idiarte Borda, and in the second, President José Batlle y Ordóñez quelled an uprising and went on to lead the republic into an era of reform and stability. Unfortunately, there is no extensive synthesis, and the work is essentially a compilation of magazine titles accompanied by appropriate annotations. However, the study provides a useful bibliographic reference for students of political and journalistic history.
Professor Oddone’s lengthy essay evaluates historical resource material for Uruguayan history to be found in Italian diplomatic dispatches. Thousands of Italians migrated to Uruguay between 1862 and 1914; many settled permanently, while others stopped only briefly before moving on to Argentina or returning home. Italian diplomats took an active interest in the Italian community’s welfare and were always watchful for opportunities to promote commercial and political interests. The author surveys diplomatic reports, many of which include incisive commentaries on domestic events. Some relevant dispatches have been appended to illustrate the kind of material available through a diplomatic perspective.
Oddone concludes that historians have overlooked Italy’s extensive interest in the Platine region. Italian migrants most certainly played a significant role at a crucial stage in Uruguay’s development by contributing their labor, skills, and financial resources, but no historian has adequately studied their total contribution. This work’s chief value is in suggesting many topics for future study in depth that may profitably utilize resources available in the Italian diplomatic archives.