This is not a volume that one would sit down and read straight through, although its very unpretentiousness makes the reading easier. Bidondo does not claim to give an exhaustive account, and his purpose is to render posthumous justice to provincial próceres rather than to prove or disprove an explicit thesis. His implicit thesis, of course, is that Jujeños of the independence generation were on the whole a worthy lot, and that their deeds made a positive contribution to the development of the Argentine nation.
A competent local historian of the traditional school, Bidondo relates primarily political, military, and administrative events. He does so chiefly on the basis of published primary and secondary sources, supplemented at times by archival citations. He begins with an analysis of the position of teniente de gobernador, showing its descent from that of subdelegado in the intendancy system. The body of the work is then devoted to a discussion, in chronological order, of the 34 individuals or corporations—including royalist intruders and several who served more than once—who held the position from 1810 to 1834. In the latter year, Jujuy, which had been a dependency of Salta, became a province in its own right, and teniente de was dropped from the title. Each of the 34 is treated in exactly the same format, with separate sections entitled “Noticia biográfica,” “Asunción del cargo,” “Gestión de gobierno,” “Causas de la finalización de su mandato” (often just an elegant way of saying reasons for his overthrow), and “Actuación posterior.” This orderly presentation of data is a positive feature. There is also a certain sameness in the data, as one teniente after another faced much the same kind of factional squabbles and outside meddling. Bidondo, though, maintains an air of serene detachment, suggesting implicitly that things never got as bad in Jujuy as in certain other provinces. There was definitely no Mazorca.