Tango – the Art History of Love
by Robert Faris Thompson
This fascinating collection of obsessive scholarship turns upon a single thesis – that the multifaceted cultural treasure that is Argentine Tango bears the strong influence of musicians and dancers of African descent, far out of proportion to their numbers during the period of tango’s origins. Beginning with the words used to describe tango – “milonga”, “La Yumba”, or even the word “tango” itself – Dr. Thompson weaves a spellbinding story of anthropological discovery, reflecting the two years of research on the ground in Buenos Aires teasing out the roots of the African influence in tango music and dance. Any student of the history of tango, or anyone interested in the ebb and flow of the mix cultural influences in folk traditions, will find this well worth the read.