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Book Reviews contributed to Peròn’s overthrow in 1955, an analysis well in keeping with the traditional historiography. Throughout, Elena compares the Argentine situation to that of other nations around the world at that time, providing useful context for his work. Ultimately, Elena’s study ends rather abruptly in 1955. While he does not ignore the long-term effects of Peròn’s policies, he gives only brief consideration to those effects. While this is only natural given the scope and focus of his study, this omission does leave many tantalizing questions unanswered that future works will hopefully resolve. Elena’s excellent study provides a skillful examination of one of the most fascinating periods in Latin American history. His use of anecdotes and his inclusion of the major milestones of Peronism make this work accessible to the general reader who might wish to know what life was “really like” in Peròn’s Argentina. At the same time, Elena’s fresh approach and use of new materials makes this an important work for scholars to examine. Gregory Hammond Department of History and Philosophy Austin Peay State University THE GUATEMALA READER: HISTORY, CULTURE, POLITICS. By Greg Grandin, Deborah T. Levinson, & Elizabeth Oglesby (eds.). Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011, p. 688, 106 illus., bibliog., index. Paperback $29.95. Cloth $99.95. This is a volume in Duke University Press’s series of Latin American Readers, edited by Robin Kirk and Orin Starn. Other volumes in the series to date include Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico. Grandin, Levinson, and Oglesby have put together an overview of Guatemalan history along with more than 200 text and graphic selections from the work of scholars, politicians, activists, poets, musicians, artists, photographers, and others reflecting Guatemalan life and culture. While it stretches from pre-Columbian times to the present, the volume concentrates heavily on the years since 1944 and contemporary Guatemala. This large work is also conveniently available in e-book format. Meant as a broad introduction to the country, the editors say they “have struggled to avoid the facile equation of Guatemala’s history, culture , and politics with its long experience of conflict, racism, and violence.” Nine chapters place particular emphasis on indigenous peoples and their struggle against “colonialism, imperialism, and brutality carried out in the name of corporate rapacity” (3). Brief introductions to each chapter do not give very much of the history of each period, but provide background for the various perspectives that follow. Many of the selections appear in English for the first time. An opening chapter on “The Maya Before the Europeans” is a little disappointing. After an excerpt from the 121 The Latin Americanist, September 2012 Popul Vuh, four more selections offer only a glimpse of Maya civilization before the Spanish Conquest, ignoring much of the substantial scholarship in this area. A second chapter on the conquest and colonial periods has eleven text selections, beginning with contrasting accounts of the conquest followed by an interesting commentary on the image of Tecún Umán in Guatemala’s multicultural national history and mythology. George Lovell illustrates the impact of Old World diseases on the native population. Other selections show the mistreatment of the natives by the Spaniards and their descendants, along with geographic descriptions from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Also included are parts of Martha Few’s charming article on “Chocolate, Sex, and Disorderly Women” and Aaron Pollack’s account of the 1812 revolt in Totonicapán. A third chapter, appropriately titled “A Caffeinated Modernism,” reviews the nineteenth century and half of the twentieth, paying considerable attention to the ethnic distinctions and nuances in modern Guatemala as they developed under Liberal rule (1871–1944). A varied selection of travelers ’ accounts, scholarly analyses, and literary excerpts reflect the turmoil and change of the period. Other selections reflect the emergence of indigenismo and the beginnings of new political groupings that challenged Liberal dominance. A fourth chapter, “The Ten Years of Spring and Beyond ,” reflects the 1944 revolution, its termination by U.S. intervention in 1954, and the repressive regimes that followed. Then another chapter documents the rising popular opposition (both urban and rural) in the 1960s and...


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