El espacio interior de América del Sur. Geografía, historia, política, cultura. BARBARA POTTHAST, KARL KOHUT, GERD KOHLHEPP (eds.): Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt/Main: Vervuert, 1999.

Robert W. Wilcox


In travelling through central South America, one is struck by a particular socioeconomic condition: the general economic isolation/impoverishment of many areas juxtaposed with an increasing developmental dynamism in others. This situation is explicitly addressed by many authors in this interdisciplinary volume of papers presented at the Asociación Alemana de Investigación sobre América Latina (ADLAF) Symposium in Bielefeld, Germany, in October, 1996. As explained in the introduction, the papers were selected with the intention of revealing a part of South America that is little known, less understood, and seldom of interest for students and most inhabitants of the continent. At the same time, the intention was to emphasize that the region, while encompassing four countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay), often has survived as an integrated whole, historically and economically, since the colonial era, although infrequently viewed as such by political decision-makers in the respective metropoli. This has contributed greatly to the contradiction of apparent socioeconomic stagnation contrasted with periodic bursts of extractive energy.

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