Lagos Carmona is a Chilean career diplomat who in recent years has served as a foreign ministry specialist in boundary matters. The first two parts of his book are essentially a tightly organized outline history. Salient portions of treaties and protocols are quoted, with passages from diplomatic correspondence interspersed. There is virtually no analysis. The opening chapters present Chilean rights under international law to the air, territorial sea, continental, and Antarctic land areas which the nation currently occupies or claims. The treatments of air space, of Chile’s avant garde position on a 200-mile territorial sea, and of the country’s claims and activities in Antarctica are accurate and interesting. Unfortunately the later chapters concerning boundaries skim over Peruvian-Chilean problems, including Tacna-Arica, in a mere seven pages, while according only ten to borders with Bolivia. The reader is left with the suspicion that the author’s professional labors in the Foreign Ministry have been primarily concerned with Argentina, since the Bolivian irredentism manifest in the so-called Río Lauca dispute receives no mention, while the Argentine boundary, and especially the contemporary issues of the Palena and the Beagle Strait, command the bulk of the book.

When he turns to Argentina, Lagos Carmona undertakes a more detailed discussion. For example, the “Telegraph Treaty” of 1881 (so called because it was negotiated by telegraph through the respective United States ministers in Buenos Aires and Santiago) receives as much attention as the entire history of Chilean border relations with both Peru and Bolivia. The most useful portion of the study deals with the historical background and development of the two issues outstanding between Chile and Argentina when the book was written in 1965, disputed ownership of the Palena region and of the course of the Beagle Channel. For the student of Chilean-Argentine relations this section alone makes the book worthy of note.

The volume contains several good maps, a chronology, and a useful basic bibliography. The greatest fault is a pretentious title which inadequately describes the contents. What Lagos Carmona actually has done is to write a brief, accurate, readable history of his country’s boundary difficulties with Argentina, prefaced by succinct summaries of the other episodes in Chile’s acquisition of legal titles to its present territories.