García Molina and Mayo carry the story forward from Las inversiones extranjeras en la industria del petróleo argentino (1907-1927), Diplomacia, política y petróleo en la Argentina (1927-1930), and La diplomacia del petróleo (1916-1930), which they co-authored with Osvaldo Andino. The title of this work is somewhat misleading. A more apt one would include the word politics, as the authors examine political thought and events from the late 1920s to 1932, as well as oil policy during those years.
Well over half of the book is devoted to political history. It traces the evolution of right-wing ideology and action, from criticism of liberal democracy to the advocacy of a corporatist, agrarian-centered regime, as manifested in La Nueva República and the Legión Cívica Argentina. The inclusion of other thinkers and groups, such as Leopoldo Lugones and Acción Republicana, would have enabled the authors to analyze in greater detail the emerging nationalist economic views and their possible influence on José F. Uriburu. More complete than the portrayal of the far right is that of the complex Uriburu administration. Its saga was one of struggle and intrigue between various conservative and nationalist factions.
The divided Uriburu regime followed a contradictory oil policy. On the one hand, the cabinet included persons tied to petroleum firms, and such decisions as the shelving of Hipólito Yrigoyen’s nationalization plan favored private companies. Government appointments to the state oil agency, the granting of juridical personage to the latter, and other policies, however, manifested nationalistic sentiments.
The conclusion states that politics and petroleum in this period followed parallel rather than superimposed lines (p. 125). Indeed, the authors draw few connections between the two topics, beyond noting that oil policy responded to the different interests represented in the Uriburu government. Moreover, this work overlaps their previous ones. Nevertheless, it is lucidly written and very well grounded in U. S., British, and Argentine documents, as well as in other sources.