Traditional explication of Facundo (1845) proposed that the Civilization vs. Barbarism dichotomy, advanced in the book as the interpretative key of post independence Argentina, reflected Domingo F. Sarmiento's unique reading of major works from the European Enlightenment and Romanticism. The discovery of new sources used by Sarmiento, however, shows that the main concepts contained in his classic had been fully adapted and applied to the Argentine reality by a previous generation of public intellectuals and militants.
Ariel de la Fuente is an Associate Professor in the Department. of History, Purdue University. He is the author of Children of Facundo: Caudillo and Gaucho Insurgency during the Argentine State-Formation Process (1853-1870) and is currently completing a book on the literature of Jorge Luis Borges.
Ariel de la Fuente
History, Purdue University
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