This anthology of twelve articles allows us to discover why its respected Argentine editor foresees no solution at present to the urban problems of Latin America. In Part I, The Background of Latin American Urbanization, the urban crisis is succinctly placed within its historical context as Hardoy outlines six stages of urban growth and warns of “. . . the growing physical marginality of ever-increasing sectors of new urban population, general socioeconomic marginality and the increasing deficit in employment, housing, and urban services characterizing. . . contemporary urbanization in Latin America” (p. 53).

Richard M. Morse provides “A Framework for Latin American Urban History” that critically discusses Sjoberg’s work, stresses the role of municipal government, outlines the Mediterranean urban legacy, and otherwise deals with the West European background to New World urbanization. A third article, by A. Quijano, examines urbanization as a social process. Burdened by jargon and restricted by its conceptual framework, it suffers vis-à-vis either Hardoy or Morse.

Part II, The Latin American City in Transition, opens with a treatise by F. H. Cardoso on “The City and Politics” that wanders from Max Weber to urban guerillas, making some debatable points en route. Cardoso, for example, finds few parallels between the Latin American colonial and the European medieval city (p. 164), downplaying the common roles of cities on both continents as mercantile entrepôts as well as political centers. More rewarding is O. Yujnovsky’s discussion of “Urban Spatial Structure in Latin America” which picks up on themes raised by Hardoy, who next outlines, along with R. O. Basaldúa and O. A. Moreno, the needed policies and mechanisms for the regulation of land in Latin America. Noting the absence of integrated planning in Latin America, the authors call for national norms that can be handed down to municipalities and outline a number of tools for effective planning.

Part III of the reader, The Future of the Latin American City, begins with a jargon-loaded piece on “Physical Space in Development Policy” by C. M. Romo that, however, does question whether development should focus on existing “growth poles,” the legacy of dependent ties to the outside world, or look to internally oriented development. A discussion of “Urbanization and Development” by L. Lander and J. C. Funes is essentially a tabular work outlining demographic growth and the housing deficit. Discussing “The Underdeveloped City,” V. L. Urquidi notes the distinction between urban growth and urban development in a review-like article that brings together much of what is discussed by others.

Part IV deals with Urbanization in Selected Countries and Cities, and starts with C. Vapñarsky’s work in Argentina on primacy and the rank-size rule. The view that national planning and urban planning are uncoordinated in Latin America and that controls on land use are weak is exemplified by L. Unikel’s study of “Urbanism and Urbanization in Mexico.” In a study of São Paulo, P. Singer gives a refreshing defense of that city in the face of anti-urban literature and analyzes the role of urbanization in the “capitalist development process.”

As with any collection of articles, this one necessarily suffers from redundant discussions; e.g., urban growth rates and the colonial political and economic background of Latin American urbanization. This aside, it is a valuable reader with a number of articles either formerly unpublished or unavailable in English. What Hardoy terms “a sampling of ideological positions” is another plus that makes this an important addition to any library or reading list.