Ostensibly a biography of the gaucho barbarian Juan Facundo Quiroga, Facundo is also a complex, passionate work of history, sociology, and political commentary, and Latin America's most important essay of the nineteenth century. It is a study of the Argentine character, a prescription for the modernization of Latin America, and a protest against the tyranny of the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas (1835-1852). The book brings nineteenth-century Latin American history to life even as it raises questions still being debated today--questions regarding the civilized city versus the barbaric countryside, the treatment of indigenous and African populations, and the classically liberal plan of modernization. Facundo's celebrated and frequently anthologized portraits of Quiroga and other colorful characters give readers an exhilarating sense of Argentine culture in the making. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Back Cover Written in political exile by one of Argentina's greatest statesmen and intellectuals and long known to English-speaking readers as Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants, Facundo (1845) is ostensibly a biography of the gaucho barbarian Juan Facundo Quiroga. Combining history, sociology, and political commentary, Sarmiento explores the impact of Argentine geography on the life of the gaucho; chronicles the often bloody political and military adventures of Facundo; examines the reign of the tyrannical ruler Juan Manuel de Rosas; and ponders the future of Argentina. This edition includes an informative introduction and a chronology of Sarmiento's life and times. It also restores the original author's note that was dropped for the 1868 English-language edition - and that is crucial to our understanding of Sarmiento and his views.