REVIEWS FROM DECEMBER 2000
of the latest books, audio,
video, and software.
James D., ed. Salvador Allende Reader. Hoboken,
N.J.: Ocean Press, 2000. 300 pp. Assisted by Jane Carolina Channing.
Trans. from Spanish by Moises Espinoza and Nancy Nuñez.
ISBN 1-876175-24-9, $19.95 (pb).
moment may have arrived when General Augusto Pinochet will finally
be forced to testify regarding the overthrow of the regime of
President Salvador Allende. Most propitious it is, therefore,
that the voice of the overthrown president has been revived in
this timely and unprecedented collection in English of 20 of Allende’s
speeches, writings, and interviews.
the exception of one item, these cover the period from his election
day interview (4 September 1970) on Canadian radio to his final
radio address in Santiago on 11 September 1973—"In these moments
the planes are flying overhead. They may riddle us with bullets.
But know that we are here." From 1939 there is a passionate prologue
by the young Dr. Allende to a government report on health and
medicine in Chile as he served as minister of health in the Popular
Front government of President Pedro Aguirre Cerda.
collection further includes his victory speech the day after his
election, his inaugural address on 5 November, his first annual
message to Congress on 21 May 1971, and his UN address on 4 December
1972. Interspersed with these are pronouncements on agrarian reform,
the role of the armed forces, and trade and development. There
are also gracious comments on Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda and
affectionate words for Fidel Castro.
usefulness of this collection is further enhanced by a concise
introductory political biography of Allende, a chronology of his
life and of Chilean events from 1962 to 1975, and the program
of the Popular Unity alliance for the 1970 presidential campaign.
State University Libraries
Marvin P. and Kinloch, Graham C. African American Golfers
during the Jim Crow Era. Westport, Conn.: Greewood/Praeger,
2000. 200 pp. ISBN 0-275-93940-6, $49.95.
is a fascinating book—crammed with facts and written in a no-nonsense
style. Not only do the authors cover the topic implied by the
title, but they also touch on U.S. and golf history in general.
They also relate golf to developments in other sports.
book works on two levels: It can be read as a history for the
casual reader or used as a reference for the scholar. The authors
take readers from the beginning of black golf right through the
court cases that brought desegregation to the links. Along the
way readers learn about the black pioneers who led the way as
well as some white men who helped them. Black elite golfers, like
their white counterparts, refused to allow women in their clubs,
so black women golfers did what white women golfers had done—they
started their own clubs. As a golf historian, I was aware that
it was a dentist who invented the tee. Here I learned for the
first time that it was a black dentist. Most readers will know
about Joe Louis as a world champion boxer. This book devotes a
whole chapter to Louis the golfer. Not only was he a good player,
but he also was instrumental in bringing black golf to where it
nice touch is interviews with some of the old black golfers who
were on the cutting edge. I hope the authors are currently documenting
the Tiger Woods era. It would make a great sequel.
Robin D. G. and Lewis, Earl, eds. To Make Our World Anew:
A History of African Americans. New York: Oxford Univ.
Press, 2000. 784 pp. ISBN 0-19-513945-3, $35.00.
enamored with history will find this compendium riveting to the
very end. This publication has an excellent chance to become required
supplementary reading in a course on African- American history
when used with John Hope Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom
(1947). The book’s supplementary role reflects its general layout.
Each of the 11 chapters in the chronology of African-American
history is by a historian who has published previously on what
he or she has written for the text. The chapters are quite extensive,
but the reading is exciting and holds the reader’s attention.
Although there is some repetition in the early chapters, the writers’
energy and ability to argue persuasively overshadow this minor
flaw. In addition, that large context—that larger world—into which
the African-American story is told strengthens the supplementary
role of the book.
larger world is evident with the first and second chapters, by
Colin A. Palmer and Peter R. Wood. Slavery as an institution impacting
the Americas is presented on a historical continuum in which the
reader is able to see the interconnectedness of those enslaved,
the brutal nature of the institution of slavery, and the interdependence
of both the enslaved and the enslavers. The story that is told
is of an African people in the process of humanizing the Americas.
That larger context is really evident in all the chapters, but
with the above two and Chapter 9, "We Changed the World: 1945-1970,"
it is gripping.
is a book that we all can learn from, and it is appropriate reading
for high school through college. As was stated so well in the
text, "If there is one thing we have learned from this book, it
is that the problems facing African Americans are not simply outgrowths
of a crisis in black America. They are products of America’s crisis.
. . . America’s future is bound up with the descendants of slaves
and the circumstances they must endure."
University of New York–New Paltz
Milton. The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future.
New York: Grove/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000. 320 pp. ISBN 0-87113-806-9,
Mekong River is to Southeast Asia what the Yangtse is to China
and the Mississippi is to the United States. Osborne, professor
and diplomat turned consultant and writer on Southeast Asia, brings
a half-century’s personal experience to this narrative of the
Mekong’s political history. Who controls the Mekong controls the
region—but the river defies control. First Cambodia, the great
Khmer empire of Angkor Wat, then France, confident of its mission
civilisatrice, sent their explorers, merchants, and soldiers
along a river whose tricks and vagaries broke hearts and defied
engineering. Osborne is particularly successful in using the Mekong
to symbolize the hopes, and the failure, of a French imperium
in Indochina that rested on more than brutal exploitation.
central theme of this work is the ongoing effort by postimperial
governments to harness the Mekong comprehensively for economic
purposes. Osborne is no reflexive adversary of large-scale development.
Nevertheless, in discussing what should be done and who should
pay for it, Osborne’s sympathies are clearly with the river. Readers
of this near-lyrical narrative are likely to reach a similar conclusion.