982: A History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century by Luis Alberto Romero
982.06: Romero, Luis Alberto. A History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century. Translated by James P. Brennan. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002. 349 pp. ISBN 0-271-02192-6.
- 900: History and Geography
- 980: History of South America
- 982: History of Argentina
- 982.06: Period of later republic, 1861 to present
In his History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century, Luis Romero tries to write a different kind of history. He has “attempted to reconstruct the history—complex, contradictory, and unique—of a society that unquestionably has experienced better moment and that finds itself currently at one of the lowest points in its history but whose future is not, I trust, definitively sealed.” This is remarkable for two reasons. First, he is not out to champion is country, and second, he owns up to the fact that history is sometimes contradictory and unfun.
Romero’s history of his country is both approachable and personal. Even at a hefty 350 or so pages, it still feels like a breezy tale. That is not to say that is in any way happy-go-lucky. There are indeed harrowing moments (just as there are in any other country’s history). But Romero makes the reader feel like they are your moments. Each presidential election, each change in the balance of power, each crisis feels like a turning point in a novel. Granted, true history scholars will have to look elsewhere for in-depth analysis of events, but this makes for a very good primer on Argentinian history. If you’re even a little bit interested, it’s worth the price of admission.