“[P]rovocative and entertaining . . . . [T]o know a beautiful, optimistic human being, to appreciate the struggles of Argentina’s working class, and to contemplate the issues of evidence and meaning in crisscrossing social contexts, read, enjoy, and judge for yourself!” — Joseph L. Arbena, The Americas
“James attempts to find meaning in the process of exploring another person’s life: ‘How was intellectual closure concerning this incomplete project possible?’ His questions and answers will resonate with oral historians, folklorists, and biographers. All levels.” — S. S. Arpad, Choice
“James presents the gripping, poignant life story of Doña María Roldán, a woman who lived and worked for six decades in the meat-packing community of Berisso, Argentina.” — Hispanic Outlook In Higher Education
"[A]n exceptional book, a joy to read . . . . The secret to its success is the writing. The author skillfully draws you into his subject, making you eager to know more about Doña Maria, entangling you in the web of Peronist political intrigue and the Argentine labor movement, presenting you with a wealth of information, then questioning the very means by which the data has been gathered and reproduced . . . . [A] powerfully emotive engagement . . . . To sum up, the message of this book brings to mind one word: respect. Respect for a woman of such fortitude and faith; and respect for a historian of such ability, sensitivity, and insight."
— Catherine Davies, Biography
"[P]owerful. . . . [This] testimon[y] helps us reconstruct women's working-class history in ways that are unachievable using traditional historical sources. . . . [T]he most important thing that [this] text [does] is insert women as historical agents, submissive to and defiant of economic inequality, traditional gender roles, and racial prejudice." — Susan E. Mannon, International Labor and Working-Class History
"Daniel James has written a wonderful ‘one source history work.’ . . . James engages in a dense and innovative way with some of the most challenging theoretical and methodological issues currently faced by historians in their craft."
— Alexandre Fortes, Labor History
"Historians frustrated by what has been written for and against I, Rigoberta Menchú should rush to read this book. . . . One would think that historians would consider it de rigeur to twin testimony with analytical commentary, especially after the Menchú furor, but James is one of the first to do so, and he does it exceedingly well. . . . [R]iveting. . . . [A] highly readable life history that combines politics, personal triumphs and tragedies, and humor. . . . [I]nsightful. . . . [O]utstanding. . . . James’s personal reflections and his politics add to the book’s considerable merits. . . . [A] refreshing departure from most history books. . . . [P]owerful. . . . This important book makes original contributions to oral history, Latin American history, labor history, women’s studies, and cultural studies. It will be widely read and discussed for a long time, I am sure."
— Elizabeth Dore, American Historical Review
"James’s recovery of the subjective experience of even one woman is a valuable step forward in the gendered study of Latin American history." — Elizabeth Quay Hutchison, Latin American Research Review
"Roldán’s life history is important, given her prominent role in the founding of the meatpackers union in Berisso, and the intersections between this local struggle, burgeoning labor activism in the political sphere, and the emergence of a national populist movement with Juan Perón at its head. She provides an insider account of these struggles, a lived experience that traditional archival sources could never convey with the same immediacy. . . . Doña Maria’s story is compelling in its own right, a narrative she conveys through exceptional speaking skills and a keen analytical sense."
— Gerard Huiskamp, South Eastern Latin Americanist
"This book contains plenty of . . . insightful observations."
— José C. Moya, Journal of Social History
“A landmark book. For those interested in history, testimonio, women's
studies, Doña María’s Story brings to life a forgotten heroine of the struggle for justice in Latin America and questions how we can listen to her voice.” — Ariel Dorfman
“This book is a gem, a gift to the reader, a wonderful read. We learn about a significant part of Argentina’s sad modern history at the same time that we are reading a highly sophisticated and well-informed meditation on the oral historian’s craft.” — Deborah Levenson, Boston College