A pathbreaking study. Chock full of provocative, revisionist history that will alter our picture and recast our thinking of nineteenth-century Peru politics for some time to come. One of the best analyses on a long-ignored and dimly understood corner of electoral politics in the nineteenth-century political history of Peru. A must-read for Latin Americanists searching for the seeds and sprouts of early democracy in the region.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Peru underwent a profound transformation. As the world economy became increasingly integrated, a new trade-based ruling class emerged. Elections led to political mobilization, and those in positions of national authority found themselves forced to negotiate with regional power brokers and lower social classes.Central to this transformation was the creation of the Partido Civil, the country’s first modern political party. Tracing its development, Ulrich Muecke revisits virtually every aspect of nineteenth-century Peruvian society.By exploring the different forms of political action and their symbolic meanings, Muecke offers a new interpretation of the legitimization and construction of political power in Latin America of the 1800s. Using sophisticated theory and based on a wealth of primary research, the book provides insights into elections, the voting process, and power relations throughout the region.
A truly amazing book, much more ambitious than its title would suggest. . . . Pathbreaking. . . . The best political analysis of nineteenth-century politics I have seen.
Sparkling with fresh and sensible analyses, it is the best study on nineteenth-century Peruvian political history in several decades, and belongs to a very small group of outstanding books on nineteenth-century politica anywhere in Latin America.
Ulrich Muecke teaches modern and contemporary history of France, Spain, and Latin America at the Georg-August-UniversitŠt Gottingen. He is the author Das Indianerbild des peruanischen Liberalismus, and the coeditor of Muchas Hispanoamericas: Antropologia, historia y enfoques culturales en los estudios latinoamericanistas.