“All those interested in the protean historical phenomenon of Peronism are indebted to Matthew B. Karush and Oscar Chamosa for this stimulating collection of essays. The New Cultural History of Peronism offers us, often for the first time in English, access to new perspectives drawn from the recent work of Argentine and North American scholars. These essays are interdisciplinary in nature and represent the creative application of the insights of the new cultural history to the history of Peronism. Framed by a lucid introduction by the editors and a fine overview essay on Peronism and its scholarship by Mariano Ben Plotkin, the essays in this volume constitute both an invaluable teaching tool and a challenge to researchers to pursue further the paths so provocatively teased out by this new cohort of Peronólogos.”—Daniel James, author of Doña María’s Story: Life History, Memory, and Political Identity
“This is cultural history at its best. A group of innovative scholars sheds new light on what is arguably one of the most important sociopolitical and cultural phenomena in modern Latin America.”—Javier Auyero, author of Contentious Lives: Two Argentine Women, Two Protests, and the Quest for Recognition
“This is a wonderful and rich collection that brings together essays from many of the most innovative scholars working on Peronism. It opens up new vistas not only for Argentine history, but for Latin American history overall and cultural history more generally. Its uniqueness and range make it especially valuable for classroom use, and, crucially, a point of entry for those outside Argentine history looking to gain a more nuanced understanding of this most resilient and chameleon-like political and cultural movement.”—Mark Alan Healey, University of California, Berkeley
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Situating Peronism within the broad arc of twentieth-century Argentine cultural change, the contributors focus on the interplay of cultural traditions, official policies, commercial imperatives, and popular perceptions. They describe how the Perón regime’s rhetoric and representations helped to produce new ideas of national and collective identity. At the same time, they show how Argentines pursued their interests through their engagement with the Peronist project, and, in so doing, pushed the regime in new directions. While the volume’s emphasis is on the first Perón presidency, one contributor explores the origins of the regime and two others consider Peronism’s transformations in subsequent years. The essays address topics including mass culture and melodrama, folk music, pageants, social respectability, architecture, and the intense emotional investment inspired by Peronism. They examine the experiences of women, indigenous groups, middle-class anti-Peronists, internal migrants, academics, and workers. By illuminating the connections between the state and popular consciousness, The New Cultural History of Peronism exposes the contradictions and ambivalences that have characterized Argentine populism.
Contributors: Anahi Ballent, Oscar Chamosa, María Damilakou, Eduardo Elena, Matthew B. Karush, Diana Lenton, Mirta Zaida Lobato, Natalia Milanesio, Mariano Ben Plotkin, César Seveso, Lizel Tornay
Matthew B. Karush is Associate Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies at George Mason University. He is the author of Workers or Citizens: Democracy and Identity in Rosario, Argentina, 1912–1930.
Oscar Chamosa is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Georgia.