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Argentina : democracy on trial /
Daniel Poneman.
New York : Paragon House, c1987.
xvii, 238 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
More Details
New York : Paragon House, c1987.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 221-228.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-01:
Poneman, a lawyer, puts democracy in Argentina ``on trial.'' As judge in the case, he convicts the Argentine people, echoing John le Carre's novelistic statement about Germany that the country may be a democracy, but it is frightfully short of democrats. This is an important book for all who would understand the disintegration of civilization in a relatively wealthy and literate country, and the potential for rebirth under President Ra;ul Alfonsin. Although written for the general reader, the book is of interest to specialists as well. Poneman has done his casework, with extensive reading and interviews. This is, however, a very North American book: evaluative, prescriptive, and didactic, somewhat unfairly comparing the rule of law in the US and Europe to the rule of terror in Argentina. Ethnocentrism is often best avoided by comparing Latin American countries to each other rather than juxtaposing fundamentally different political traditions. Poneman concludes that Argentine undemocratic attitudes are more crucial than Argentine institutions, but attitudes are clearly molded by institutions. Poneman seems to understand Argentina better than he understands other countries, including his own. Full democracy in the US South, for example, required much more than a change in the ``character'' of its people. Recommended for all libraries.-R.E. Hartwig, Valdosta State College
Appeared in Library Journal on 1987-05-15:
President Alfonsin holds the future of democracy in Argentina in his hands. The land is huge, naturally rich, and blessed with a constitution based on that of the United States, but none of this has brought either democracy or prosperity. He inherited a land at its nadir politically, economically, and morally. In this brilliant summary of the situation Poneman sounds the tocsin to the North that time may be running out for Alfonsin, and that authoritarianism in the form of the Church, the military, and the oligarchy waits eagerly in he wings. In the final assessment, he warns, all depends on the people and a national psyche does not change easily. Voting in itself is insufficientdemocracy imposes duties as well as rights and one them is to respect the outcome of elections. Highly recommended. Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Lib., Gainesville
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, April 1987
Library Journal, May 1987
Choice, January 1988
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