This brief book is part of a collection, directed by Félix Luna and called “Memorial de la Patria,” that aims to contain twenty-seven volumes in all. Although the topics of this collection are not identified in the book under consideration, they are supposed to deal with prominent issues in Argentine history from 1804 to 1973. Nineteen collaborators in this commendable enterprise are listed on the book’s end-flap, where is to be found also a succinct description of the collection’s purpose. It is to offer, as the statement reads, “una visión completa de la historia de la Argentina independiente a través de sucesivos volúmenes emditos sin pesadez, de claro lenguaje pero sin superficialidad y con un único compromiso con el pasado: la verdad histórica.” Judged by the high quality of El interregno de los lomonegros: 1830-1835 by Victor Bouilly, the collection is off to a good start.
This book and the promised collection are directed to a general audience. A few footnotes, a brief supplementary bibliography, and a lucid narrative attest to the hope of gaining wide attention. The whole of Bouilly’s effort is, as he avows, to produce an objective synthesis on the period and issues in question. He does not disappoint us. He includes commentaries on the social, intellectual, economic, political and military aspects of the five-year interregnum preceding the definitive dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas. In 1830-1835 the moderate Federalists, called lomonegros, offered an alternative course to that represented by the more sanguine and conservative netos, as the Rosas faction of Federalists is identified. Víctor Bouilly, a non-professional historian, supplies no new information here, but he does give the reader a rounded, although abbreviated, portrait which is remarkably fair. His book makes for light and rapid reading and is not without charm. Most interesting to this reviewer is the apparent desire of the collaborators in the collection to reach Argentine citizens with little books eminently readable, inexpensive, and enlightening on aspects of their national history. Bouilly’s is a secular labor of limited use to the specialist, but as a primer for the student of Argentine history his book deserves accolades.