This book attempts to illustrate the “ideology of modernizing nationalism,” a system of belief which Sigmund considers peculiar to the “Third World” of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Readings from each of the four areas follow the editor’s two introductions. The inclusion of Latin America in third-world ideology creates certain difficulties for Sigmund. He admits that in at least three aspects— development through state planning, rejection of capitalistic development, and nonalignment in the Cold War Latin American nationalists frequently do not fit his model.
Sigmund’s introductions fail to provide the reader with adequate background material on Latin America. Consequently his readings section, chiefly works published during the last ten years, lacks historical perspective. Fully one-fourth of the space devoted to Latin America is taken up by Fidel Castro, a man who, as Theodore Draper demonstrates, has compensated for his own ideological weakness by attaching his movement to a number of different ideologies.
Incredible as it may seem, Mexico in not represented in the readings. Even more astonishing is Sigmund’s failure to mention the Mexican, Bolivian, and Guatemalan revolutions. Serious students of Latin America will not find this book very enlightening.