This should and could have been a very good book. It represents an interesting and unexplored facet of Bolivian history with abundant material for any interested German and Spanish speaking scholar of Bolivia. However, the book is mediocre and apparently assembled in haste. The editor has a less than fifty-line introduction. He should have given us a scholarly presentation of much greater length. We also fail to learn the criteria for his selection. There are many more German authors available and no attempt is made to mention them. Finally, the bibliography for the twelve authors chosen is too slim.
The book is not all a lost cause and makes some contributions. There is a section from the controversial and outdated Tiahuanacunist, Arthur Posnansky, as well as one of the celebrated naturalist, Tadeo Haenke.
Two other selections are writings of the editor and the publisher. The first, by the editor Friedl Zapata, entitled “Introducción de la ‘Antología del Cuento Boliviano’,” was published in 1973 in Germany. The other one is a strange choice by the publisher Werner Guttentag, with the title of “Una tradición trasplantada,” evidently printed for the first time in this book. It deals with an apparent nineteenth-century relative named Immanuel Guttentag, who had a small publishing house in Prussia but who wrote nothing about Bolivia!
Included too are Max Uhel, a respected Tiahuanacunist of the nineteenth century, and Hans-Jurgen Puhle, who, in 1973, wrote a celebrated study of Bolivian land tenure. There also is an extract of a certain Gudrun Pausewang who recently wrote a novel dealing with a Bolivian wedding. This certainly makes a diversified group of writings, or, could we say, a hodgepodge with no editorial direction or explanation of any kind.