One indication that a field of historical research has developed to something like maturity and a position of scholarly respect is the appearance of comprehensive bibliographies listing publications in that field. Latin American history in general boasts many such bibliographies, to say nothing of that sempiternal serial, the Handbook of Latin American Studies. From time to time U. S. diplomatic history has also enjoyed the attentions of bibliographers. Until recently the study of U.S.-Latin American relations or of hemispheric affairs in general has fallen between the two larger fields. Within the last two years, however, we have received two major bibliographies devoted to inter-American relations, each one running to about eleven thousand entries. One of them, compiled by Daniel Cosío Villegas, appeared under the auspices of the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores of Mexico (Cuestiones Internacionales de México, reviewed in HAHR, February 1967, p. 77). The other, at present under review, was sponsored by a group of American universities and colleges.
The three American editors have laid out their ungainly subject in a systematic manner calculated to be of the greatest use to the greatest number of researchers. They begin with a section on Guides and Aids and another devoted to basic secondary works on Latin America, U. S. diplomatic history, and U. S.-Latin American relations. Then follow ten sections dealing with chronological divisions, including one on The New Pan Americanism Since 1889, and a section on Pan Hispanism, Yankeephobia, and Aprismo. The last twelve sections cover works on the relations between the United States and individual Latin American nations or groups of nations. While some may regret the lack of a separate section or two dealing with economic relations, it is fairly easy to survey writings on this topic with the aid of numerous subheadings in each section. The work ends with a comprehensive author index.
Brief comparison with Cosío Villegas’ Cuestiones internacionales suggests that although the two works overlap considerably, each has areas of special emphasis. Trask, Meyer, and Trask have listed many American dissertations and European publications which do not appear in the Mexican bibliography. Cosío has included more government publications, commission reports, and the like, especially Mexican official documents. Comparison is difficult in this general category, however, for the American editors do not list entries for the Pan American Union or the United Nations in the author index, as does Cosío. (His listings, however, are apt to be self-defeating, since they are usually followed by dozens of item numbers.) In most (but not all) cases Cosío has listed more writings of individual Mexican historians and publicists. This is less apt to be true of other Latin American writers. For example, Trask, Meyer, and Trask list more entries for both Eduardo Frei Montalva and Arturo Frondizi than Cosío, and in citations of Fidel Castro’s writings the American bibliography outdoes the Mexican by ten to zero.
But such comparisons are invidious. These bibliographies represent enormous and well-directed labor which will simplify and improve all future study in the field. The knowledgeable researcher will need to consult both of them, and they both belong in any university or archival library.