This collection of essays mostly comprises works by young historians affiliated with the Universidad Nacional in Tandil, Buenos Aires. The Instituto de Estudios Histórico-sociales in Tandil has leapt to prominence during recent years on the strength of youth, talent, and vigor. It has established a distinguished reputation for the range and quality of its publications, particularly in the areas of historical demography, immigration studies, and, more recently, the history of the Argentine southern frontier. Actores, ideas y proyectos políticos, however, focuses on political history and mainstream topics such as the era of Juan Perón. Of the eleven essays in this book, four are devoted to the Perón era, two to the authoritarian nacionalistas, two to labor issues, and the remainder to the recruitment of bishops, to the army in the early 1960s, and (a little incongruously) to the development of the party system of Uruguay. The segment of the book subtitled “Las ideas y los proyectos” for the most part covers some familiar ground. It includes a study of La Nueva República, the reactionary newspaper of the late 1920s, and two pieces on cultural aspects of Peronism of the type that have appeared quite frequently during recent years. The book also includes three local studies, two on the always intriguing history of Tandil and one on the rise of Peronism in the national territory of Neuquén.

On balance the book brings together more original data than either new topics or novel interpretations. On occasion important historiography is missing from the discussion and the notes. For example, an essay by Daniel Mazzei on the divisions in the Argentine army between 1962 and 1966 omits any direct references to the well-known works by Robert A. Potash and Alain Rouquié. Two essays in particular, by Susana Bianchi and Nicolás Iñigo Carrera, pass the test of originality on all fronts. Bianchi’s piece examines the recruitment of bishops between 1860 and 1960. She illustrates the diverse origins of the bishops, many of whom came from immigrant backgrounds. Bianchi shows that the notorious conservatism of the Argentine Church did not stem from its dominance by a hierarchy of reactionary criollos. The author also makes some important observations about the close relationship between state-building in Argentina in the 1860s under Bartolomé Mitre and his successors, and the reconstruction of the Argentine Church under porteño leadership and funding.

Iñigo Carrera’s study of a rarely mentioned general strike in Buenos Aires in January 1936 illustrates the overall strength of this book. The author notes that during the strike violent incidents (gunfights, battles with the police, sabotage) occurred unevenly in different parts of the city and for the most part were concentrated in three of the twenty electoral districts. Iñigo Carrera relates the high incidence of violence to the social structure of these three districts. He provides a unique and very impressive district-by-district description of Buenos Aires in 1936, and shows how the violence occurred in recently developed areas in which domestic capitalism prevailed and the industrial proletariat remained undeveloped. All the essays in this book bear the same hallmark of hard work, although not always to quite the same effect as Iñigo Carrera’s contribution.