Argentina's Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916-1930 by Joel HorowitzArgentina's Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916-1930 by Joel Horowitz

Argentina's Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916-1930

byJoel Horowitz

Paperback | April 19, 2011

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Democracy has always been an especially volatile form of government, and efforts to create it in places like Iraq need to take into account the historical conditions for its success and sustainability. In this book, Joel Horowitz examines its first appearance in a country that appeared to satisfy all the criteria that political development theorists of the 1950s and 1960s identified as crucial. This experiment lasted in Argentina from 1916 to 1930, when it ended in a military coup that left a troubled political legacy for decades to come. What explains the initial success but ultimate failure of democracy during this period?

Horowitz challenges previous interpretations that emphasize the role of clientelism and patronage. He argues that they fail to account fully for the Radical Party government’s ability to mobilize widespread popular support. Instead, by comparing the administrations of Hipólito Yrigoyen and Marcelo T. de Alvear, he shows how much depended on the image that Yrigoyen managed to create for himself: a secular savior who cared deeply about the less fortunate, and the embodiment of the nation. But the story is even more complex because, while failing to instill personalistic loyalty, Alvear did succeed in constructing strong ties with unions, which played a key role in undergirding the strength of both leaders’ regimes.

Later successes and failures of Argentine democracy, from Juan Perón through the present, cannot be fully understood without knowing the story of the Radical Party in this earlier period.

Joel Horowitz is Professor of History at Saint Bonaventure University.Joel Horowitz is Professor of History at Saint Bonaventure University.
Title:Argentina's Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916-1930Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.71 inPublished:April 19, 2011Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:027103405X

ISBN - 13:9780271034058

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Table of Contents



List of Abbreviations


1. The Economic and Political Setting

2. Creating the Image: Construction of the Images of Yrigoyen and Alvear

3. The Limits of Patronage

4. When Bosses and Workers Agreed: The Failure of Social Welfare Legislation

5. Yrigoyen and the Limitations of Obrerismo, 1916–1922

6. Alvear and the Attempted Establishment of an Institutionalized Relationship with Labor, 1922–1928

7. Yrigoyen and the Failure to Reestablish Obrerismo, 1928–1930




Editorial Reviews

“Joel Horowitz has written a thoughtful and well-researched book for a period of Argentina’s history much in need of further understanding.”

—Paula Alonso, American Historical Review