One of Latin America's most influential political scientists, O'Donnell has collected his most important essays in this volume. He first set the field alight in the 1970s with his analysis of "bureaucratic authoritarian regimes," a term he coined for Argentina and Brazil in particular, and he has been stoking the flames ever since. His thoughtful and provocative essays touch on all the democratic challenges that his homeland, Argentina, and the rest of Latin America face. Reflecting the changing political tides throughout the region, these essays also mirror O'Donnell's participation in the debates over democratic transition and consolidation. His studies cover the social alliances shaping the Argentine political system, authoritarianism's various guises and internal tensions, and democracy's revival after a period of extreme repression. A valuable contribution from a fertile mind.