Between Reform & Revolution: Political Struggles in the Peruvian Andes, 1969-1991

Between Reform & Revolution: Political Struggles in the Peruvian Andes, 1969-1991

Between Reform & Revolution: Political Struggles in the Peruvian Andes, 1969-1991

Between Reform & Revolution: Political Struggles in the Peruvian Andes, 1969-1991

Synopsis

This is the story of one of the most ambitious agrarian reforms in Latin American history. The book argues that the economic, political, and cultural dynamics set in motion by the reforms are central to understanding the brutal civil war that ensued in Peru between the state and the Maoist-Leninist Shining Path guerilla movement.

Excerpt

I am not sure whose ethnography this is, because so many voices have spoken, listened, retorted, and responded to me over the years. There is definitely a point of view to the book, though. That is what intrigues me. More and more, it seems that my concerns and those of people I met dwelling in the cities and countryside of the Andean highlands of Peru intersect and coincide in ways that surprise and provoke me to wonder about how ethnographies are born and take on lives of their own.

I have spent most of my life engaged in straddling worlds. Whatever worlds I bridge, sometimes looking into a chasm below, sometimes unaware that I'm standing on a bridge at all, sometimes knowing that I'll never be back, and sometimes longing to stay in one place forever, I've found myself grateful for community. As a busy, (almost) obsessed bricoleur, I have constructed community again and again, as have the people I've come to know in the Andes, fashioning it out of some of the same materials I've used before, but always mixing in new, unexpected ingredients. My community resembles not so much a nucleus as a staggering number of crisscrossing pathways.

My passion for community (and the idea of community) leads me to acknowledge, in however attenuated and impoverished a fashion, the many people who have participated in the process of creating this book with me, guiding and sometimes admonishing me. Certainly they have challenged me to look at the world in new ways. Their loyalty and trust, beyond their knowledge, wit, and fine critical sense, have mattered most. in the end, although the point of view of this book is my own, and in that sense I am responsible for it as a product, I have been influenced greatly by the conversations, readings, words, and deeds of specific individuals whom I've encountered and enjoyed, and from whom I've learned an extraordinary amount that I now hope to pass on to others.

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