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Progress, Poverty, and Exclusion: An Economic History of Latin America in the Twentieth Century
Progress, Poverty, and Exclusion: An Economic History of Latin America in the Twentieth Century
By Rosemary Thorp
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, 370 pp
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Oxford historian Thorp provides a comprehensive overview of the economic progress and setbacks of Latin American economies since 1900. Despite the sprawling subject -- 22 different countries -- she gives smaller nations their due while providing the inevitable focus on the larger ones along with comparative country data. Her conclusion: Latin America has experienced significant economic progress during the century, with its economies all more advanced now than they were 100 years ago. Despite these gains, the per capita income of the richest countries (Argentina and Chile) has only now reached the level the United States enjoyed in 1900. Thorp also shows how the region has been hit by several serious setbacks, most notably in the 1930s and in the 1980s debt crisis. External developments like the Great Depression sometimes inhibited progress, but so did self-inflicted wounds such as stifling protectionist measures against foreign competition. Chronologically organized for the entire region, this book provides a good introductory overview of its topic.