Latin America continues to be the object of intensive study by an increasing number of scholars trained in numerous disciplines. As the output of their research steadily mounts, it becomes increasingly difficult for those active in the field to know what significant writings on Latin America have been published recently. Since 1936 the Handbook of Latin American Studies has endeavored periodically to supply this information. For the Latin Americanist the Handbook has become an indispensable reference work. It provides a clear and concise annotated listing of all important scholarly books and articles pertaining to Latin America that have been published both in the U.S. and abroad. The current volume cites some 6,500 titles, most of which include editorial comment on the content and quality of the item listed. Although the references to new books are useful, most of these appear in the relevant professional journals. Thus the most commendable feature is the impressive array of articles selected from over 750 journals published in many parts of the world. Most of these latter entries are also annotated and greatly broaden the researcher’s familiarity with materials that might escape him.
The growing quantity of literature dealing with Latin America recently induced the editors to publish the results in two volumes, each appearing in alternate years. Volume 29 for 1967 concentrates on studies published chiefly from 1964 to 1967, with some items as far back as 1961, in the fields of anthropology (including archaeology), ethnology, ethnohistory (with a new section for South America), linguistics, and human biology; economics (with a new section for Argentina); geography (with a section for cartography); government and international relations; law; and sociology. The entries are further broken down by country or region and are arranged alphabetically by author. In most cases each major division begins with a very useful introduction by the contributing editor, a feature that should be encouraged in the future. The number of items listed in each major topical division remains much the same as for Volume 27, with a few exceptions. Entries on human biology, economic writing for northern South America, and the geography of Brazil more than doubled; those on government and international relations and sociology nearly doubled.
The new editor, Henry E. Adams, has not only preserved the Handbook’s excellence, but is striving to improve its services by expanding the coverage of journal articles and making possible the inclusion of last minute materials. The contributing editors, the mainstay of the Handbook, remain basically the same. A few are missing: John Augelli in geography, Richard Adams, Robert Howard, Sidney Mintz, and Charles Wagley in anthropology, and David Felix in economics. New ones have come forward: Ripley Bullen, Henry Selby, Lambros Comitas, and John Murra in anthropology, Marion Gillim, William Glade, and Aldo Ferrer in economies.
The present volume must he considered supplementary for most historians, who will have to content themselves with Volume 28 while looking forward to Volume 30, both of which emphasize current historical writing. Most comments by a reviewer of the Handbook tend to seem superfluous. It might be more appropriate on this occasion to express the profession’s appreciation to all the contributors who, with dedication but no other compensation, join forces with Editor Adams and his staff in an effort to save Latin Americanists from floundering helplessly in their own productivity.