Initialed notices were written by members of the editorial staff.
This dictionary, compiled by two political scientists, will probably prove most useful to high schools, community colleges, and small liberal arts institutions in which reference works are in short supply and where instructors are often obliged to lecture in fields outside their specialties. The authors quite appropriately note that the book was designed to facilitate the “learning of the basics.”
By my count, the volume contains 235 primary entries, none of which is essentially biographic. The terms are heavily weighted toward the modern period, especially the twentieth century. Each entry has two component parts: a definition and a one-paragraph discussion of the term’s significance within the Latin American context. Brevity—an average of only about 425 words per entry—precluded the possibility of the authors’ dealing with the complexities inherent in many of the terms. No sources are given for either definitions or significances, so potential users will be left in all cases to wonder who they are being asked to believe. In a majority of cases, entries are cross-referenced.