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  • Acknowledgments vii

    Introduction / Matthew B. Karush and Oscar Chamosa 1

    Populism, Melodrama, and the Market: The Mass Cultural Origins of Peronism / Matthew B. Karush 21

    Peronists and Cabecitas: Stereotypes and Anxieties at the Peak of Social Change / Natalie Milanesio 53

    The Malón de la Paz of 1946: Indigenous Descamisados at the Dawn of Peronism / Diana Lenton 85

    Criollo and Peronist: The Argentine Folklore Movement during the First Peronism, 1943–1955 / Oscar Chamosa 113

    Unforgettable Kitsch: Images around Eva Peron / Anahi Ballent 143

    Working-Class Beauty Queens Under Peronism / Mirta Zaida Lobato, María Damilakou, and Lizel Tornay 171

    Peronism in "Good Taste": Culture and Consumption in the Magazine Argentina / Eduardo Elena 209

    Political Emotions and the Origins of the Peronist Resistance / César Seveso 239

    Final Reflections / Mariano Ben Plotkin 271

    Bibliography 289

    About the Contributors 303

    Index 305







  • Matthew B. Karush

    Natalia Milanesio

    Diana Lenton

    Anahi Ballent

    Mirta Zaida Lobato

    Eduardo Elena

    César Seveso

    Mariano Plotkin

    Oscar Chamosa

    María Damilakou

    Lizel Tornay

  • “[A] fresh new study on a well-trodden topic. Revisiting the historiography of Peronism, the volume’s editors suggest that much of the theoretical confusion about Peronism comes from analytical studies which take a political or social focus as its main orientation, neglecting to consider the cultural side of Peronism.... While historians and social theorists looked at culture in the years of Peronism’s advance in power as consequential to class and political developments, this volume argues that culture was the base from which Peronism developed its appeal and through an examination of cultural aspects of the Peronist discourse and of the narrative of the new Argentinian state one can understand the development and shortcomings of Peronism.” — Isabel DiVanna, Canadian Journal of History

    “Each piece stands as an excellent addition to the scholarship of this era; together, they provide any reader with a revealing insight into the actions
    the Peronists took to make sure that they would have a lasting legacy in every facet of Argentine life.” — Gregory Hammond, Hispanic American Historical Review

    “One of the particular strengths of this work is the complexity of this new cultural history of Argentina…Karush and Chimosa effectively elucidate the breadth and depth of new scholarship in the cultural history of the Perón years. Their volume ends with an essay in which Mariano Ben Plotkin outlines topics worthy of further exploration, making this work invaluable for graduate students interested in Peronist studies.” — Matthew A. Redinger, Ethnohistory

    “This edited volume of eight published essays, which also includes a succinct historiography of Peronism (in the editors’ introduction) and a thoughtful afterword by Mariano Plotkin, expands our understanding of the first two presidencies of Juan Domingo Perón (1946–1952 and 1952–1955) by focusing on the intersection between culture and cul- tural reception in an era of increasing commercialism.…While the contributors to this volume are primarily historians, they provide an interdisciplinary approach to under- standing Peronism by including in their inquiries beauty pageants, folklore, political demonstrations, political rhetoric, visual imagery, and the study of emotions.” — Kristen McCleary, The Americas

    “[A] useful resource for those interested in Latin American history, offering plenty of themes for undergraduates to explore. . . . The New Cultural History of Peronism provides a rich cross-section of case studies to parallel and contrast. While it is an invaluable resource for more specialist researchers of Latin American history and politics, I believe its focus on the cultural aspects of governance is an approach that would be welcomed by cultural studies scholars studying political formations in other national contexts.” — Andrew King, Cultural Studies Review

    “This book edited by Matthew Karush and Oscar Chamosa adds a fresh perspective to the already voluminous scholarship on Peronism. . . . [T]he essays’ range of topics, theoretical sophistication, and clear writing make this book an excellent choice for classroom use. To conclude, this book is a fruitful addition to the study of Peronism that will additionally interest scholars and students beyond its specific case study.” — Jorge Nállim, Left History

    "The collection examines cultural changes in the years between 1943 and 1955 and makes a good case for viewing the Argentina of 1955 as culturally a very different country."  — Joel Horowitz, Latin American Research Review

    “This book edited by Matthew Karush and Oscar Chamosa adds a fresh perspective to the already voluminous scholarship on Peronism. . . . [T]he essays’ range of topics, theoretical sophistication, and clear writing make this book an excellent choice for classroom use. To conclude, this book is a fruitful addition to the study of Peronism that will additionally interest scholars and students beyond its specific case study.” — Jorge Nállim, Left History

    “[A] useful resource for those interested in Latin American history, offering plenty of themes for undergraduates to explore. . . . The New Cultural History of Peronism provides a rich cross-section of case studies to parallel and contrast. While it is an invaluable resource for more specialist researchers of Latin American history and politics, I believe its focus on the cultural aspects of governance is an approach that would be welcomed by cultural studies scholars studying political formations in other national contexts.” — Andrew King, Cultural Studies Review

    Reviews

  • “[A] fresh new study on a well-trodden topic. Revisiting the historiography of Peronism, the volume’s editors suggest that much of the theoretical confusion about Peronism comes from analytical studies which take a political or social focus as its main orientation, neglecting to consider the cultural side of Peronism.... While historians and social theorists looked at culture in the years of Peronism’s advance in power as consequential to class and political developments, this volume argues that culture was the base from which Peronism developed its appeal and through an examination of cultural aspects of the Peronist discourse and of the narrative of the new Argentinian state one can understand the development and shortcomings of Peronism.” — Isabel DiVanna, Canadian Journal of History

    “Each piece stands as an excellent addition to the scholarship of this era; together, they provide any reader with a revealing insight into the actions
    the Peronists took to make sure that they would have a lasting legacy in every facet of Argentine life.” — Gregory Hammond, Hispanic American Historical Review

    “One of the particular strengths of this work is the complexity of this new cultural history of Argentina…Karush and Chimosa effectively elucidate the breadth and depth of new scholarship in the cultural history of the Perón years. Their volume ends with an essay in which Mariano Ben Plotkin outlines topics worthy of further exploration, making this work invaluable for graduate students interested in Peronist studies.” — Matthew A. Redinger, Ethnohistory

    “This edited volume of eight published essays, which also includes a succinct historiography of Peronism (in the editors’ introduction) and a thoughtful afterword by Mariano Plotkin, expands our understanding of the first two presidencies of Juan Domingo Perón (1946–1952 and 1952–1955) by focusing on the intersection between culture and cul- tural reception in an era of increasing commercialism.…While the contributors to this volume are primarily historians, they provide an interdisciplinary approach to under- standing Peronism by including in their inquiries beauty pageants, folklore, political demonstrations, political rhetoric, visual imagery, and the study of emotions.” — Kristen McCleary, The Americas

    “[A] useful resource for those interested in Latin American history, offering plenty of themes for undergraduates to explore. . . . The New Cultural History of Peronism provides a rich cross-section of case studies to parallel and contrast. While it is an invaluable resource for more specialist researchers of Latin American history and politics, I believe its focus on the cultural aspects of governance is an approach that would be welcomed by cultural studies scholars studying political formations in other national contexts.” — Andrew King, Cultural Studies Review

    “This book edited by Matthew Karush and Oscar Chamosa adds a fresh perspective to the already voluminous scholarship on Peronism. . . . [T]he essays’ range of topics, theoretical sophistication, and clear writing make this book an excellent choice for classroom use. To conclude, this book is a fruitful addition to the study of Peronism that will additionally interest scholars and students beyond its specific case study.” — Jorge Nállim, Left History

    "The collection examines cultural changes in the years between 1943 and 1955 and makes a good case for viewing the Argentina of 1955 as culturally a very different country."  — Joel Horowitz, Latin American Research Review

    “This book edited by Matthew Karush and Oscar Chamosa adds a fresh perspective to the already voluminous scholarship on Peronism. . . . [T]he essays’ range of topics, theoretical sophistication, and clear writing make this book an excellent choice for classroom use. To conclude, this book is a fruitful addition to the study of Peronism that will additionally interest scholars and students beyond its specific case study.” — Jorge Nállim, Left History

    “[A] useful resource for those interested in Latin American history, offering plenty of themes for undergraduates to explore. . . . The New Cultural History of Peronism provides a rich cross-section of case studies to parallel and contrast. While it is an invaluable resource for more specialist researchers of Latin American history and politics, I believe its focus on the cultural aspects of governance is an approach that would be welcomed by cultural studies scholars studying political formations in other national contexts.” — Andrew King, Cultural Studies Review

  • “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 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

    “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

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  • Description

    In nearly every account of modern Argentine history, the first Peronist regime (1946–55) emerges as the critical juncture. Appealing to growing masses of industrial workers, Juan Perón built a powerful populist movement that transformed economic and political structures, promulgated new conceptions and representations of the nation, and deeply polarized the Argentine populace. Yet until now, most scholarship on Peronism has been constrained by a narrow, top-down perspective. Inspired by the pioneering work of the historian Daniel James and new approaches to Latin American cultural history, scholars have recently begun to rewrite the history of mid-twentieth-century Argentina. The New Cultural History of Peronism brings together the best of this important new scholarship.

    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

    About The Author(s)

    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.

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