This volume explores the question of why nations have failed in Latin America and the implications this has for political developments in the region. The author first looks at economic underdevelopment--the most conspicuous form of failure--and examines in detail the cultural and political factors which have retarded economic growth. He also describes how Latin Americans react to the multitude of economic, social and political problems which beset them and how they evaluate themselves in relation to other peoples. Two subjects of particular interest to American readers are then discussed: Latin American anti-Westernism and revolution. In the second half of the book, Barrett deals with the potential which exists in Latin America for totalitarian political solutions. He studies the situation in Cuba and surveys other Latin American countries where the urge to totalitarianism has clearly revealed itself yet has failed to grow.