Current preoccupation with this unknown quantity will be partially satisfied on many counts in this all-over historical survey of the country and the roots of its present day problems. From the elements of the pampas, the gaucho, the main city, uenos Aires, and the provinces, emerges a story of a half century of civil war, in which the political leaders brought about their own doom. Cheap land and cheap meat founded an aristocracy, and refrigeration and railroads expanded the industry. There were experiments in European colonization, a wave of immigration and added mixtures of peoples. The crisis of 1890 brought middle class ascendancy and a half century of revolution, during which there was mounting resentment of Britain's economic sovereignty, with the dubious outcome of the Roca-Runciman pact. An analysis of the appeal of the Nazi ideology, of the complex reactions to this war and the effort to keep on good terms with both sides -- and finally the diplomatic defeat at the Rio Conference and the end of an era with the nationalists instituting military rule in June, '43. A new, privileged industrial class has arisen with war boom and spiritual bankruptcy, while the democratic parties have been forced underground, and the liberals into exile. This is an investigatory job rather than an interpretative one -- background book for current history.