Shining and Other Paths

War and Society in Peru, 1980-1995

Shining and Other Paths

Latin America Otherwise

More about this series

Book Pages: 552 Illustrations: 22 b&w photographs, 4 maps Published: September 1998

History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Andes, Politics > Political Science

Shining and Other Paths offers the first systematic account of the social experiences at the heart of the war waged between Shining Path and the Peruvian military during the 1980s and early 1990s. Confronting and untangling the many myths and enigmas that surround the war and the wider history of twentieth-century Peru, this book presents clear and often poignant analyses of the brutal reshaping of life and politics during a war that cost tens of thousands of lives.

The contributors—a team of Peruvian and U.S. historians, social scientists, and human rights activists—explore the origins, social dynamics, and long-term consequences of the effort by Shining Path to effect an armed communist revolution. The book begins by interpreting Shining Path’s emergence and decision for war as one logical culmination, among several competing culminations, of trends in oppositional politics and social movements. It then traces the experiences of peasants and refugees to demonstrate how human struggle and resilience came together in grassroots determination to defeat Shining Path, and explores the unsuccessful efforts of urban shantytown dwellers, as well as rural and urban activists, to build a “third path” to social justice. Integral to this discussion is an examination of women’s activism and consciousness during the years of the crisis. Finally, this book analyzes the often paradoxical and unintended legacies of this tumultuous period for social and human rights movements, and for presidential and military leadership in Peru.

Extensive field research, broad historical vision, and strong editorial coordination enable the authors to write a coherent and deeply humanistic account, one that draws out the inner tragedies, ambiguities, and conflicts of the war.

Providing historically grounded explication of the conflicts that reshaped contemporary Peru, Shining and Other Paths will be widely read by Latin Americanists, historians, anthropologists, gender theorists, sociologists, political scientists, and human rights activists.

Contributors. Jo-Marie Burt, Marisol de la Cadena, Isabel Coral Cordero, Carlos Iván Degregori, Iván Hinojosa, Carlos Basombrío Iglesias, Florencia E. Mallon, Nelson Manrique, Hortensia Muñoz, Enrique Obando, Patricia Oliart, Ponciano del Pino H., José Luis Rénique, Orin Starn, Steve J. Stern


“[A]n excellent starting point for anyone, even non-Peruvianists . . . .” — Jenny Pearce, Peace and Conflict

“[An] impressive collection . . . skillfully edited by Steve Stern.” — Guillermo Rochabrún, NACLA Report on the Americas

“[P]resents[s] a wealth of contemporary and historical detail that will be of value to anyone trying to come to grips with what these struggles meant, where they came from, and what will follow.” — Stephen Harney, Journal of Peasant Studies

Shining and Other Paths will be an indispensable text . . . as it provides one of the most comprehensive and well-documented explorations to date of the historical origins and development of Shining Path.” — Phillip Mauceri, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

Shining and Other Paths, ably edited by Stern, presents analyses by U. S. scholars and several important Peruvian scholars and activists, some of whose work has never before been available in English. . . . [W]ide-ranging and detailed. . . .” — Eric Selbin, Latin American Research Review

“[G]athers important scholarly voices to demystify the Shining Path by locating it in relationship to other social and political processes through nuanced studies of specific issues and regions. . . . [A]n important and useful contribution to understanding a movement that for far more than a decade disastrously shook Peru and its scholarship.” — David Knowlton, American Ethnologist

“Steve J. Stern has prepared with utmost care a rich and satisfying intellectual banquet in Shining and Other Paths . . . . Masterfully crafted and satisfying . . . . Few edited volumes reflect such coherence and high quality across all the contributors. Steve Stern and his collaborators have produced a definitive contribution to scholarship that manages to satisfy quite completely our need to understand the radical movement that came so close to taking power in the early 1990s, as well as its enduring effects on Peruvian society and politics.” — David Scott Palmer, Hispanic American Historical Review

“This book unquestionably exceeds the editor’s and contributors’ expectations ‘that the whole of the collaborative work is larger than the sum of its parts’. . . . The volume offers insightful and comprehensive analyses and interpretations of the most violent and destructive terrorist movement in the Americas. . . . The contributions are all uniformly valuable. . . . The excellent scholarship, style, editing, and translations all combine to make this one of the best volumes on the Shining Path available in English. Highly recommended for all readers. . . .” — Choice

“A brilliantly conceived and executed study of the guerrilla insurgency in Peru. . . . This is exactly the kind of historically grounded work on Shining Path that we have long lacked and happily now have.” — Peter Klarén, George Washington University

“This collection of essays will bring to English-language readers the most comprehensive, most nuanced exploration of Shining Path—and of Peru during the last fifteen years—available.” — John Tutino, Georgetown University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Steve J. Stern is Alberto Flores Galindo Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His books include Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640, Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries, and The Secret History of Gender: Women, Men, and Power in Late Colonial Mexico.

Table of Contents Back to Top
About the Series ix

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

Introduction. Beyond Enigma: An Agenda for Interpreting Shining Path and Peru, 1980–1995 / Steve J. Stern 1

Part I. Within and Against History: Conceptualizing Roots

1. From Race to Class: Insurgent Intellectuals de provincia in Peru, 1910–1970 / Marisol de la Cadena 22

2. On Poor Relations and the Nouveau Riche: Shining Path and the Radical Peruvian Left / Iván Hinojosa 60

3. Chronicle of a Path Foretold? Velasco's Revolution, Vanguardia Revolucionaria, and "Shining Omens" in the Indigenous Communities of Andahuaylas / Florencia E. Mallon 84

Part II. The Conquest that Failed: The War for the Center-South

Introduction to Part II 121

4. Harvesting Storms: Peasant Rondas and the Defeat of Sendero Luminoso in Ayacucho / Carlos Iván Degregori 128

5. Family, Culture, and "Revolution": Everyday Life with Sendero Luminoso / Ponciano del Pino H. 158

6. The War of the Central Sierra / Nelson Manrique 192

7. Villagers at Arms: War and Counterrevolution in the Central-South Andes / Orin Starn 224

Part III. Obliterating Third Paths: The Battles of Lima and Puno

Introduction to Part III 261

8. Shining Path and the "Decisive Battle" in Lima's Barriadas: The Case of Villa El Salvador / Jo-Marie Burt 267

9. Apogee and Crisis of a "Third Path": Mariateguismo, "People's War," and Counterinsurgency in Puno, 1987–1994 / José Luis Rénique 307

Part IV. Women as Citizen-Subjects: Exploring the Gendered War

Introduction to Part IV 341

10. Women in War: Impact and Responses / Isabel Coral Cordero 345

Part V. Political Rule, Political Culture: The Ironic Legacies of War

Introduction to Part V 377

11. Civil-Military Relations in Peru, 1980–1996: How to Control and Coopt the Military (and the consequences of doing so) / Enrique Obando 385

12. Alberto Fujimori: "The Man Peru Needed?" / Patricia Oliart 411

13. Sendero Luminoso and Human Rights: A Perverse Logic that Captured the Country / Carlos Basombrío Iglesias 425

14. Human Rights and Social Referents: The Construction of New Sensibilities / Hortensia Muñoz 447

Conclusion. Shining and Other Paths: The Origins, Dynamics, and Legacies of War, 1980–1995 / Steve J. Stern 470

Abbreviations and Organizations 477

Bibliography 481

Index 511

Contributors 533

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2217-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2201-6
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