The Peru Reader

History, Culture, Politics

The Peru Reader

The Latin America Readers

More about this series

Book Pages: 600 Illustrations: 62 illustrations Published: December 2005

History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Andes

Sixteenth-century Spanish soldiers described Peru as a land filled with gold and silver, a place of untold wealth. Nineteenth-century travelers wrote of soaring Andean peaks plunging into luxuriant Amazonian canyons of orchids, pythons, and jaguars. The early-twentieth-century American adventurer Hiram Bingham told of the raging rivers and the wild jungles he traversed on his way to rediscovering the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu. Seventy years later, news crews from ABC and CBS traveled to Peru to report on merciless terrorists, starving peasants, and Colombian drug runners in the “white gold” rush of the coca trade. As often as not, Peru has been portrayed in broad extremes: as the land of the richest treasures, the bloodiest conquest, the most poignant ballads, and the most violent revolutionaries. This revised and updated second edition of the bestselling Peru Reader offers a deeper understanding of the complex country that lies behind these claims.

Unparalleled in scope, the volume covers Peru’s history from its extraordinary pre-Columbian civilizations to its citizens’ twenty-first-century struggles to achieve dignity and justice in a multicultural nation where Andean, African, Amazonian, Asian, and European traditions meet. The collection presents a vast array of essays, folklore, historical documents, poetry, songs, short stories, autobiographical accounts, and photographs. Works by contemporary Peruvian intellectuals and politicians appear alongside accounts of those whose voices are less often heard—peasants, street vendors, maids, Amazonian Indians, and African-Peruvians. Including some of the most insightful pieces of Western journalism and scholarship about Peru, the selections provide the traveler and specialist alike with a thorough introduction to the country’s astonishing past and challenging present.


“[A] thoughtfully-chosen range of primary historical documents, anthropological and journalistic analyses, and literary endeavors. . . . The book is a compelling and convincing mix; there’s nothing else like it.” — Jessaca B. Leinaweaver, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

“This anthology is a wonderful addition to any course on Latin America and Peru and is accessible to both graduates and undergraduates. I have used pieces from this book for my undergraduate courses and plan to incorporate at least one of the pieces new to this second edition into my courses in the near future. The book should also be of interest to nonacademics interested in learning more about Peru.” — M. Cristina Alcalde, The Latin Americanist

“A livelier, more literate introduction to a foreign world could not be hoped for. A Peruvian trove, indeed; so much that one hardly knows where to begin dipping into its treasures.” — Alma Guillermoprieto, author of Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolution

“This is an extremely deep, broad, and insightful collection on Peru.” — Jorge Castañeda, author of Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left after the Cold War and former Foreign Minister of Mexico


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Orin Starn is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of Ishi’s Brain: In Search of America’s Last “Wild” Indian and Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes, also published by Duke University Press.

Carlos Iván Degregori is Professor of Anthropology at the National University of San Marcos in Lima. He served on Peru’s government-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission and has written dozens of books and articles about Peru.

Robin Kirk is Co-director of the Human Rights Initiative at Duke University. She is the author of More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs, and America’s War in Colombia and The Monkey's Paw: New Chronicles from Peru.

Table of Contents Back to Top
A Note On Style xi

Introduction 1

Part I: The Ancient Civilizations 13

The Chavin Cult / Brian Fagan 17

Nazca Pottery / Javier Sologuren 28

The Huarochiri Manuscript / Anonymous 30

Moon, Sun, Witches / Irene Silverblatt 36

The Origins of the Incas / Garcilaso de la Vega 50

Cloth, Textile, and the Inca Empire / John Murra 56

Taxation and the Incas / Pedro de Cieza de Leon 71

Officials and Messengers, Guaman Poma de Ayala 76

The Search for Machu Picchu / Hiram Bingham 82

Part II: Conquest and Colonial Rule 93

Atahualpa and Pizarro / John Hemming 97

In Defense of the Indians / Bartolome de las Casas 119

Our House / Marco Martos 123

The Tragedy of Success / Steve J. Stern 124

Diary of Colonial Lima / Josephe de Mugaburu y Honton 149

Friar Martin's Mice / Ricardo Palma 154

The Rebellion of Tupac Amaru / Alberto Flores Galindo 159

"All Must Die!" / Jose Antonio de Areche 169

Part III: Republican Peru 175

The Battle of Ayacucho / Antonio Cisneros 179

Comas and the War of the Pacific / Florencia E. Mallon 181

Priests, Indians, Soldiers, and Heroes / Manuel Gonzalez Prada 199

Women of Lima / Flora Tristan 207

Amazonian Indians and the Rubber Boom / Manuel Cordova 215

Pat IV: The Advent of Modern Politics 227

Tempest in the Andex / Luis Valcarcel 231

Water! / Juan Pevez 235

Reflections / Jose Carlos Mariategui 240

Human Poems / Cesar Vallejo 246

The APRA / Victor Raul Haya de la Torre 253

The Massacre of Chan Chan / Carleton Beals 258

Lost to Sight / Cesar Moro 266

Part V: The Breakup of the Old Order 269

The Pongo's Dream / Jose Maria Arguedas 273

"The Master Will No Longer Feed Off Your Poverty" / Juan Velasco 279

The 24th of June / Gabriel Aragon 285

Villa El Salvador / Cecilia Blondet 287

Recipe for a House / Mercedes Torribio 293

Featherless Vultures / Julio Ramon Ribreyo 296

Peru's African Rhythms / Nicomedes Santa Cruz 305

A Guerrilla's Word / Javier Heraud 307

Liberation Theology / Gustavo Gutierrez 309

A World for Julius / Alfredo Bryce Echenique 313

Part IV: The Shining Path 319

"A Frightening Thirst for Vengeance" / Osman Morote 323

We Are the Initiators / Abimael Guzman 325

The Quota / Gustavo Gorriti 331

Memories of a Cadre / Nicario 343

Oath of Loyalty / Anonymous 351

Part VII: Manchay Tiempo 353

Vietnam in the Andex / Pancho 357

Death Threat / Anonymous 364

Women and Terror / Raquel Martin de Mejia 366

Chaqwa / Robin Kirk 370

Huamanguino / Ranulfo Fuentes 384

"There Have Been Threats" / Maria Elena Moyano 387

Peasants at War / Ponciano del Pino 393

Time of Reckoning / Salomon Lerner 401

Part VIII: The Cocaine Economy 407

The Hold Life has / Catherine J. Allen 411

My Little Coca, Let Me Chew You! / Anonymous 424

The Cocaine Economy / Jo Ann Dawell 425

Drugs, Soldiers, and Guerrillas / Chaname 438

Part IX: The Struggle for Survival 441

Soup of the Day / Family Kitchen No. 79 445

Nightwatch / Orin Starn 447

"A Momentous Decision" / Alberto Fujimori 460

Choleric Outbreak / Caretas 468

Bribing a Congressman / Alberto Kouri and Vladimiro Montesinos 474

Simply Pascuala / Jose Maria Salcedo 477

Part X: Culture(s) Redefined 481

Chayraq! / Carlos Ivan Degregori 485

The Choncholi Chewing Gum Rap / Nosquien y los Nosecuantos 489

Sarita Colonia Comes Flying / Eduardo Gonzalez Viana 491

is Peru Turning Protestant? / Luis Minaya 496

Interview with a Gay activist / Enrique Bossio 502

Adrenaline Nights / Carmen Olle 507

Reencounter / Giovanna Pollarolo 509

I Am the Bad Girl of the Story / Maria Emilia Cornejo 511

Conversation in the Cathedral / Mario Vargas Lllosa 512

The Slave / Jaime Bayly 528

Aguaruna Adventures / Anonymous 553

Self-Images / Workshop for Social Photography 562

Suggestions for Further Readings 567

Acknowledgments 571

Acknowledgment of Copyrights 573

Index 577
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3649-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3655-6
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