The architect Le Corbusier once called Buenos Aires “the capital of an imaginary empire.” From its foundation in the sixteenth century, Argentina’s main city has been a place of the imagination as well as the scene of many striking historical events. From foreign invasions to more modern-day coups d’état and dictatorships, the city’s turbulent history has been paralleled by a vibrant popular culture born out of the hardships of immigration and longing for a lost homeland. This cultural guide looks at the impact of history and the efforts of men and women to build a city that would fulfill their dreams, as well as bringing today’s Buenos Aires vividly to life for the visitor. From the new skyscrapers along the front of the huge “river of silver” to the picturesque portside La Boca where hundreds of thousands of immigrants first faced a new continent, Buenos Aires has created its own legend, lived out today in tango bars, on football pitches, in cafés where intense debates take place, or where people simply watch the ever-changing parade of passers-by. Nick Caistor takes the reader to the insider’s Buenos Aires. He shows how the past has shaped its streets, how Argentine politics has left its mark on almost every corner, how each wave of new inhabitants has added to the city’s cultural mix. He explores the complex legacy of Spanish colonialism and Peronism as well as considering the city’s representation by writers from Darwin and Humboldt to Borges and Cortázar. Analyzing the foundations of Porteño culture, he reveals a city obsessed by nostalgia yet rich in music, dance and spectacle. • Compact cultural guide to Buenos Aires with color illustrations • Author is a long-term resident of Buenos Aires and has reported for the BBC/WGBH from there • Looks at the city’s rich literary and musical heritage
About the Author
Nick Caistor writes and broadcasts widely on Latin America and Cuba. He is the author of numerous books, including Mexico City: A Cultural History (Interlink).
"Founded in the late sixteenth century, Buenos Aires has a rich history steeped in Spanish trade and indigenous roots. This book not only expands upon this history, but also captures the culture of today, sharing its literature, art, music,åÊ popular culture, social justice movements, and crime. Caistor brings the capital of Argentina alive for the reader, discussing its beautiful landscape, buildings, and its development."