December 14, 2017

Book review

Friday, July 28, 2017

Recent releases

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By Herald Staff
Malvinas-Falklands y la Cooperación Sur-Sur by Guillermo García (Meta), 31 pages

British and Argentine opinions on what the “f-word” might be sometimes differ — Guillermo García is a brave man indeed to use the name “Falklands” in his title. The full title is completed with the phrase “... bajo la perspectiva de los Acuerdos bilaterales de 1971” and this is an indicator of García’s basic approach — to move forward on this deadlocked issue by looking back. More than a generation after the 1982 conflict, García feels that it is time to examine how things were going right before they went wrong. Within a few years of United Nations Resolution 2065 of 1965 enjoining the two nations to negotiate a peaceful solution to the problem (preceded by an anti-colonialist resolution in 1960) the two sides were able to progress to the 1971 agreements greatly increasing interactive links and creating an incipient island dependence on the mainland — with Lord Chalfont floating “leaseback” in the background. A former New York Times stringer, García has written in numerous publications (including the Herald) and now runs public radio’s “Nacional Global” section. As Landrú (who died earlier this month) said: “Lo bue, cuando bre, dos veces bue.” 

La comunidad, viaje al abismo de una granja de rehabilitación by Pablo Galfré (Sudestada), 202 pages

“They tried to make me go to rehab/I said, no, no, no” sang the late Amy Winehouse — this book would empathise. Galfré starts from one specific case — the dubious death of a young addict at the Fundación San Camilo — to expose a multi-million business: the “therapeutic communities” which exploit the absence of the state and the despair of families to make their fortunes in complicity with prepaid health schemes and sectors of the judiciary (the profit motive drives private medicine in general, he insists). The author says that he spent 18 months interviewing everybody involved as well as researching the legal dossiers and that patients, parents, ex-employees and psychologists all agreed that the rehabilitation farms are a farce. Galfré’s approach is tinged with Marxism with phrases like “capitalists sniffing the most deadly drug of them all — surplus value. “La comunidad” is not just a book, he insists, but also “a tool seeking justice for so many mistreated kids locked up in an underworld of fraud, abuse, violence and psychological cant.” Shades of the film El Rati Horror Show after penetrating the labyrinths of a therapeutic community.                  

Triunfo buitre: La deuda externa argentina de los Kirchner a Macri by Norberto Galasso (Ediciones Colihue), 256 pages

The end of the 2001 default following the profound economic crisis which shook Argentina around the turn of the century was nevertheless not the end of the story. Nor the beginning — in his 2002 work De la Banca Baring al FMI. Historia de la deuda externa argentina, Norberto Galasso has already sketched almost two centuries of the turbulent relationship between Argentina and its creditors and here he picks up the story in this century. Galasso analyses the bond swaps of 2005 and 2010 after Néstor Kirchner’s arrival in the presidency in 2003, followed by the confrontation with the vulture funds within a general policy of “disindebtment ” accompanied by economic growth. He is especially critical of the role of United States courts in that dispute. Finally, he explains Mauricio Macri’s almost immediate capitulation to the vulture funds as seeking a “downpour of investments” but instead leading to capital flight and new debt — he contrasts this with the growth under “living off our own.” But Galasso presents all the different ideological stances in a debate which will be crucial for both Argentina’s present and future.                         
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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia