Book Review: Honduras: An Area Study in Government

Date01 September 1951
AuthorRonald Bryden
Publication Date01 September 1951
DOI10.1177/002070205100600320
SubjectBook Review
BooK
REVIEWS
253
essays
on
such
topics
as
"Criminal
Justice
in
Germany
Today,"
and
"The
Protection
of
Civilians
in
Occupied
Territory";
but there
are
three papers
describing
the
difficulties
encountered
by
the
United
Nations
in
handling
the
problems
of
Human Rights,
International
Trade
and
Trusteeship.
Add
to this
list
essays
on
such
diverse topics
as
"Patterns
of
Relief
Work
in
Germany,"
"Administration
in
the
American
Depen-
dencies,"
"The
Moral Dilemma
in
Foreign
Policy"
(by
Professor
Hans
Morgenthau),
"American
Statesmen,"
and
"The
Papacy
and
World
Peace"
and
it
can
be
seen
why
this
series
of
volumes
is
growing
steadily
in
importance
for
reference
purposes.
I
still
remain
unconvinced
that
much
is
gained
by
including
the
book
reviews
or
worse
still
by
reviewing
volumes
on
foreign
policy
under
the
misleading
description
"Reports
on
World
Affairs-Sociological
Aspects."
University
of
British
Columbia,
May
1951.
F.
H.
Soward
HONDURAS:
AN
AREA
STUDY
IN
GOVERNMENT.
By
William
S.
Stokes.
1950.
(Madison:
University
of
Wisconsin
Press.
351
pp.
$7.75
U.S.)
Within
its
designedly
limited
scope,
this
"descriptive
and
analytic
study
of
the organization and
development
of
government
in
Honduras"
will
provide
a
valuable source
for
scholars
of
Latin
America, to
whom
its
particular
information
has
not
been
readily
available
before
in
Spanish
or
English.
Somewhat
less,
it
may
interest
general readers
as
an
appraisal
of
the
difficulties
of
transplanting
that
hot-house
flower,
representative
democracy,
among
the
more
boisterous
political
growths
native
to hot,
semi-literate
agrarian
countries.
While the
author
wisely
has
confined his
frame
of
reference to
the
area
of
his
research,
his
findings
may
have
a
wider
applicability;
many
of
the
problems
of
Hon-
duras
are
common
not
only
to
the
rest
of
the Carribbean
area, but
to
Asia
and
Africa
as
well.
Mr.
Stokes, professor
of
political
science
at
the University
of
Wis-
consin,
has spent
ten years
compiling
comprehensive
documentation
on
Spanish
American
history
and
law,
and
one
year
in
field
work
through
the
Central
American
republics.
The
result
is
a
scholarly
and sympa-
thetic
book.
The
author
neither
applies
the
yardsticks
of
industrial
North
America
to
the
independent peasant communities
of
Honduras'
isolated valley,
nor
does
he lapse
into
condescending
tolerance.
He
is
a
fair,
serious
observer,
whose
few
recommendations
are
immediate,
mod-
erate
and
practical.
The major
portion
of
the
book
traces
the
evolution
of
Honduran
constitutional
principle
from
1824,
when
the
republic
broke
from
Mexico
to join
the
short-lived
Central
American
Federation,
down
to
the
inauguration
of
President
G~lvez
in
1949.
Mr.
Stokes
blames
the
abyss
between
principle and
practice mainly
on
the
conflict
between
the
liberal
aims
of
most
of
the constitution-framers and
the
continuing
legacy of

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