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Book Title: Facundo|
The author of the book: Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
ISBN 13: 9789504651413
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 374 KB
Date of issue: 1997
Read full description of the books Facundo:There are relative few works of politics and history that can be regarded as great literature. Offhand, I can think of Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Tacitus, Gibbon, Brazil's Euclides da Cunha -- and now I must add to this list Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, scholar, educator, and one-time President of Argentina. Written in 1845, Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism tells of the civil war that erupted soon after Argentina declared (and won) its independence from Spain. On one side were the gaucho caudillos such as Juan Manuel Rosas and Facundo Quiroga, who fought on the side of the Federales. On the other side were Rivadavia, Paz, and the Unitarios, who wanted a unified Argentina ruled from Buenos Aires and subjected to European influences with regard to commerce, education, and culture.
Sarmiento describes this early culture war eloquently:These men [Federales], Spaniards only in their language and in the confused religious notions preserved among them, must be seen, before a right estimate can be made of the indomitable and haughty character which grows out of this struggle of isolated man with untamed nature, of the rational being with the brute. It is necessary to see thyeir visages bristling with beards, their countenances as grave and serious as the Arabs of Asia, to appreciate the pitying scorn with which they look upon the sedentary denizen of the city, who may have read many books, but who cannot overthrow and slay a fuierce bull, who could not provide himself with a horse from the pampas, who has never met a tiger alone, and received him with a dagger in one hand and a poncho rolled up in the other, to be thrust into the animal's mouth, while he transfixes his heart with his daggerIf this sounds anything like the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia or the Sendero Luminoso of Peru, it is because both were anti-urban movements.
At one time, Facundo Quiroga, a bloody cutthroat who had his military prisoners executed and who robbed the citizens of the cities he conquered, controlled almost all of Northwest Argentina, while his cohots Rosas, Lopez, and Ferre controlled Buenos Aires and the Pampas. It was a bleak time in Argentinean history -- a time virtually unknown outside of South America. You will see glimpses of the war in the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, but only Sarmiento gives all the details:The Argentine Revolutionary War was twofold: 1st, a civilized warfare of the cities against Spain; 2s, a war against the cities on the part of the country chieftains with the view of shaking off all political subjection and satisfying their hatred of civilization. The cities overcame the Spaniards, and were in their turn overcome by the country districts. This is the explanation of the Argentine Revolution, the first shot of which was fired in 1810, and the last is still [as of 1845] to be heard.Fortunately for Argentine history, Quiroga was assassinated and somewhat later Rosas was defeated and hustled into exile. It was only then that Argentina could begin to have the history of a civilized nation -- though it lapsed once again rather badly in the 1970s with the rule of the junta under Videla, Viola, and Galtieri and the "Dirty War" against the montonero guerrillas and their many thousands of sympathizers. But that is another story.
Read information about the authorDomingo Faustino Sarmiento Albarracín was an Argentine activist, intellectual, writer, statesman and the seventh President of Argentina. His writing spanned a wide range of genres and topics, from journalism to autobiography, to political philosophy and history. He was a member of a group of intellectuals, known as the "Generation of 1837", who had a great influence on nineteenth-century Argentina. Sarmiento himself was particularly concerned with educational issues, and is now sometimes considered "The Teacher" of Latin America. He was also an important influence on the region's literature.
Sarmiento grew up in a poor but politically active family that paved the way for much of his future accomplishments. Between 1843 and 1850 he was frequently in exile, and wrote in both Chile and in Argentina. His great literary achievement was Facundo, a critique of Juan Manuel de Rosas, that Sarmiento wrote while working for the newspaper El Progreso during his exile in Chile. The book brought him far more than just literary recognition; he expended his efforts and energy on the war against dictatorships, specifically that of Rosas, and contrasted enlightened Europe—a world where, in his eyes, democracy, social services, and intelligent thought were valued—with the barbarism of the gaucho and especially the caudillo, the ruthless strongmen of nineteenth-century Argentina.
While president of Argentina from 1868 to 1874, Sarmiento championed intelligent thought—including education for children and women—and democracy for Latin America. He also took advantage of the opportunity to modernize and develop train systems, a postal system, and a comprehensive education system. He spent many years in ministerial roles on the federal and state levels where he travelled abroad and examined other education systems.
Sarmiento died in Asunción, Paraguay, at the age of 77 from a heart attack. He was buried in Buenos Aires. Today, he is respected as a political innovator and writer.
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