Sometimes dangerous and chaotic but always lively and cosmopolitan, Buenos Aires attracts tourists from all over the world. The largest city in Argentina, this South American capital crackles with passion for tango, soccer, art, and food. In this handy travel guide, Buenos Aires local Jason Wilson provides a window into the city’s history while also exploring its streets today.
Wilson offers a history of Buenos Aires’s beginnings as a Spanish colony in the sixteenth century, describing how it evolved from a port city for European trade to a booming, multicultural regional capital that became the leading destination for European immigrants. He examines the many swings between authoritarian and democratic governments the city has experienced during its history and sorts out the urban myths from the real story of the monuments, buildings, and people of Buenos Aires. The book also includes essays on present-day Buenos Airesits parks, cemeteries, museums, and bookshopsto reveal what makes the city tick. Illustrated throughout with contemporary photos and compelling historical images, Buenos Aires provides useful references for travelers looking for restaurant, hotel, and itinerary ideas.
One of the first titles in Reaktion’s new CityScopes series, this social and urban history is an authoritative introduction and intimate guide to this vibrant, alluring city, past and present.
About the Author
Jason Wilson is professor emeritus in the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at University College London. He is the author of many books on Latin American culture and literature, including Jorge Luis Borges, also published by Reaktion Books. He lives in London and Buenos Aires.
Table of Contents
1. The Two Foundations of Buenos Aires, 1536 and 1580
2. The Colonial City and the English Invasions, 1806 and 1807
3. Independence City, 1810 and Repercussions
4. The Civil War City and Rosas, 1829-80
5. Buenos Aires as the Capital, 1880-1930
6. The Infamous Decade, 1930-43
7. Perón, Evita, Peronism and Anti-Peronism, 1943-89
8. Into the Twenty-first-century City
The City Today
Gardel’s Smoking Statue
La Bombonera, Boca Juniors and Football
On the Trail of Jorge Luis Borges
The Greening City
The Labyrinth of the Recoleta Cemetery
The Fin de Siècle City: From Plaza de Mayo to Congreso
The Museo Larreta and Walled Garden
Suggested Reading and Viewing