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The Fourth Enemy

Journalism and Power in the Making of Peronist Argentina, 1930–1955

James Cane

Publication Year: 2012

The rise of Juan Perón to power in Argentina in the 1940s is one of the most studied subjects in Argentine history. But no book before this has examined the role the Peronists’ struggle with the major commercial newspaper media played in the movement’s evolution, or what the resulting transformation of this industry meant for the normative and practical redefinition of the relationships among state, press, and public. In The Fourth Enemy, James Cane traces the violent confrontations, backroom deals, and legal actions that allowed Juan Domingo Perón to convert Latin America’s most vibrant commercial newspaper industry into the region’s largest state-dominated media empire. An interdisciplinary study drawing from labor history, communication studies, and the history of ideas, this book shows how decades-old conflicts within the newspaper industry helped shape not just the social crises from which Peronism emerged, but the very nature of the Peronist experiment as well.

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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List of Illustrations

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p. vii

Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiii

List of Abbreviations

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p. xv

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Introduction: From Fourth Estate to Fourth Enemy

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pp. 1-22

When Juan Domingo Perón announced his new government’s economic agenda from the stage of the Teatro Colón, the working men and women sitting in the posh seats of the famed Buenos Aires opera house could not miss the symbolic importance of the act. Not only was the...

Part 1

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1. The Fourth Estate

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pp. 25-57

Disconcertingly well-stocked periodical kiosks crowded the sidewalks of mid-twentieth-century Buenos Aires, stuffed with the enormous variety of the morning’s fruits—the afternoon’s detritus—of Latin America’s largest publishing industry. With over seven...

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2. Journalism and Power in the Impossible Republic

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pp. 58-88

The military movement that ended the presidency of Hipólito Yrigoyen rode a broad wave of support. For months the Yrigoyen government had failed to respond to the first devastating moments of a world economic crisis that threatened to undermine the foundation...

Part 2

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3. The Triumph of Silence

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pp. 91-115

For the second time since the world crisis began in 1930, the city of Buenos Aires filled with the sounds of sporadic gunfire, tanks, sirens, and marching soldiers while thick smoke poured from burning buses and streetcars. Jubilant civilians occupied the Plaza de...

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4. Journalism as Labor Power

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pp. 116-142

In the first months following the coup of June 1943, the government of General Ramírez had found its primary source of legitimacy in the profound public discontent with the political corruption of the preceding thirteen years. Yet, by defining their overriding mission as the...

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5. Scenes from the Press Wars

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pp. 143-173

Few moments are as pivotal in modern Argentine history as the evening of October 17, 1945. The forced resignation of Juan Domingo Perón from the government and his subsequent detention by military officials on October 12 laid bare the fragility of the sweeping social...

Part 3

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6. The Die Is Cast

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pp. 177-205

The events of October 1945 revealed a chasm between the “representatives of public opinion” and broad sectors of the Argentine public far deeper than the proprietors of Buenos Aires commercial newspapers cared to admit. Yet the press’s unanimity in celebrating...

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7. The Fourth Enemy

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pp. 206-227

The consolidation of the Peronist media project left the Argentine journalism landscape utterly transformed. In October 1945, at Perón’s moment of greatest crisis—and greatest political victory—the major Buenos Aires dailies had stood unanimously against him; five years...

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Conclusion: Journalism and Power in the New Argentina

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pp. 229-239

With the expropriation of La Prensa and its transfer to the CGT, the dramatic transformation of Latin America’s most powerful newspaper industry was complete: Crítica, La Razón, Noticias Gráficas, El Mundo, and finally the Paz family’s paper had all come under the control...


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pp. 241-279


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pp. 281-299


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pp. 301-312

E-ISBN-13: 9780271052243
E-ISBN-10: 0271052244
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271048765
Print-ISBN-10: 027104876X

Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 14 illustrations
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 830023547
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Fourth Enemy

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Perón, Juan Domingo, 1895-1974.
  • Censorship -- Argentina -- History -- 20th century.
  • Press and politics -- Argentina -- History -- 20th century.
  • Government and the press -- Argentina -- History -- 20th century.
  • Argentina -- Politics and government -- 1943-.
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