The first edition of Facundo was published in instalments in 1845. Sarmiento removed the last two chapters of the second edition (1851), but restored them in the 1874 edition, deciding that they were important to the book's development.

The first translation into English, by Mary Mann, was published in 1868. A modern and complete translation by Kathleen Ross appeared in 2003 from the University of California Press .

While exiled in Chile, Sarmiento wrote Facundo in 1845 as an attack on Juan Manuel de Rosas , the Argentine dictator at the time. The book was a critical analysis of Argentine culture as he saw it, represented in men such as Rosas and the regional leader Juan Facundo Quiroga , a warlord from La Rioja . For Sarmiento, Rosas and Quiroga were caudillos —strongmen who did not submit to the law. [6] However, if Facundo's portrait is linked to the wild nature of the countryside, Rosas is depicted as an opportunist who exploits the situation to perpetuate himself in power. [7]

The gaucho is a man who brooks no control and acts completely independent. These are his fundamental characteristics (even though there may be other modifications).

The men who engage in agriculture do not have the leisure to idle, but the gaucho certainly does. The horse is integral to the gaucho; he spends his days on his steed traveling places. Since his life has little emotion, he invests much of it in gambling and liquor. He meets with other gauchos and fights; the knife is his weapon and tool. He does have an honor code, in that he kills men of other lands but the men of his own he only slashes and scars. Homicide is rare and considered a misfortune.

There have been many of these men in history, but only the most memorable rise up the ladder. They end up “malefactors or military chiefs” (51) because this is a society “where mental culture is useless or impossible, where no municipal affairs exist, where, as there is no public, the public is a meaningless word” (51).

The first edition of Facundo was published in instalments in 1845. Sarmiento removed the last two chapters of the second edition (1851), but restored them in the 1874 edition, deciding that they were important to the book's development.

The first translation into English, by Mary Mann, was published in 1868. A modern and complete translation by Kathleen Ross appeared in 2003 from the University of California Press .

While exiled in Chile, Sarmiento wrote Facundo in 1845 as an attack on Juan Manuel de Rosas , the Argentine dictator at the time. The book was a critical analysis of Argentine culture as he saw it, represented in men such as Rosas and the regional leader Juan Facundo Quiroga , a warlord from La Rioja . For Sarmiento, Rosas and Quiroga were caudillos —strongmen who did not submit to the law. [6] However, if Facundo's portrait is linked to the wild nature of the countryside, Rosas is depicted as an opportunist who exploits the situation to perpetuate himself in power. [7]

Facundo: Or, Civilization and Barbarism (Penguin Classics.


Facundo: Or, Civilization and Barbarism Study Guide.

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