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This is the 20th entry in my ongoing series of brief reviews of vintage National Geographics as they reach the century mark.


The first of four articles in this issue is about the Italian island of Sardinia.  The tour of the island starts at the northern end through the Gennargentu Mountains, the Switzerland of Sardinia, and travels south winding up in Caligari, its largest city, on the southern end.  The round, stone bronze-age structure know as “nuraghi” found around Caligari are describe.  Ancient tombs from the same era are found nearby.

The language of Sardinia reflect the many settlers/conquerors of the island.  These include the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, and Pisans.  The colorful and unique costumes of the Sards is described.  The economy is briefly discussed including mining and fishing.  And finally the island’s many wildflowers are discussed along with the seasonal climates.  There is a trace map of Sardinia and its environs on page 102.

 Photo courtesy of Philip Riviere.

The second article discusses southern South America, specifically Argentina, southern Brazil, and Chile.  These A, B, C powers of the southern temperate zone are meant to (in the author’s eyes) develop and administer the topical portion of the continent.

The southern part of Argentina is referred to as the Scotland of South America  while Buenos Aires is portrayed as the Paris of Argentina.  Rio de la Plata becomes the Hudson, while the Parana-Paraguay become the Mississippi-Missouri.

The coffee plantations of southern Brazil are described as are the buffer states of Paraguay and Uruguay are touched on.  The Pampas are compared the the Prairies, both similarities and differences.  The main difference being the lack of rivers on the Pampas.

The article goes on to compare and contrast Argentina to Chile.  It ends with a look at the political evolution of the region and its vast potential.


The third article discusses Santo Domingo (the Dominican Republic), Nicaragua, and Haiti.  The United States, under the Monroe Doctrine, has recently assumed financial responsibility for these country’s debts.  Under treaties the U.S. administers these countries and, in the case of Haiti, U.S. troop police the country.

The article goes into detail of the tragic history of Haiti and the reasons why U.S. troops are needed.


The last article is short (as hinted by the title) and describes two journeys to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras in the center of the country.  The first is from San Francisco through the port of Amapala.  The second is from Mobile or New Orleans through the Puerto Cortes.


At the bottom of the last page there is a notice to members that the index for Volume XXIX (Jan-Jun 1916) now being available by mail upon request.

Tom Wilson

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Note: I just added a map referenced by the first article in this review. (Thanks Phil.)

Note: I just added a map referenced by the first article in this review.



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