Scholars working on the economic history of Latin America in the period 1870–1914 are singularly fortunate in that much, indeed most, of what they need to locate is identified in Roberto Cortés Conde and Stanley J. Stein (eds.), Latin America: A Guide to Economic History, 1830–1930 (Berkeley, 1977). The editors, in their introduction, provide a helpful overview of problems and issues, while each country section of the masterfully annotated bibliographies on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru is also prefaced by an interpretive and evaluative essay from a noted scholar. With such an exceptionally valuable resource listing over 4,500 items already available, this essay will concentrate on studies from the more recent years which deal with the international matrix of Latin American regional development, with occasional mention of works written earlier but not included in the aforementioned comprehensive bibliography. There are a number of other bibliographies which deal with individual countries: for example, Enrique Florescano et al. (eds.), Bibliografía general del desarrollo económico de México, 1500–1976 (Mexico, D.F., 1980), an excellent work. Mention should also be made of a number of statistical publications which provide historical data on Latin America. See, for example, B. R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics: Australasia and Americas (London, 1983); also Paul Bairoch and Bouda Etemad, Commodity Structure of Third World Exports, 1830–1937 (Geneva, 1985).
A very good place to begin understanding the period is with more general works on the engagement of Latin America in the international economy. Pascal Arnaud, Estado y capitalismo en América Latina: Casos de México y Argentina (Mexico, D.F., 1981) represents one type of approach; based on the experience of two large countries in the 1820–1910 era, the author attempts to develop a general, perhaps too sweeping, picture of the transition to capitalism in Latin America.