Argentina’s Partisan Past

BookArgentina’s Partisan Past

Argentina’s Partisan Past

Nationalism and the Politics of History

Liverpool Latin American Studies, 11

2011

April 27th, 2011

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Argentina’s Partisan Past is a challenging new study about the production, the spread and the use of understandings of national history and identity for political purposes in twentieth-century Argentina. Based on extensive research of primary and published sources, it analyses how nationalist views about what it meant to be Argentine were built into the country’s long drawn-out crisis of liberal democracy from the 1930s to the 1980s. Eschewing the notion of any straightforward relationship between cultural customs, ideas and political practices, the study seeks to provide a more nuanced framework for understanding the interplay between popular culture, intellectuals and the state in the promotion, co-option and repression of conflicting narratives about the nation’s history. Particular attention is given to the conditions for the production and the political use of cultural goods, especially the writings of historians. The intimate linkage between history and politics, it is argued, helped Argentina’s partisan past of the period following independence to cast its shadow onto the middle decades of the twentieth century. This process is scrutinised within the framework of recent approaches to the study of nationalism, in an attempt to communicate the major scholarly debates of this field with the case of Argentina. The book is a valuable resource to both students of Argentine history and those interested in the ways in which nationalism has shaped our contemporary world.

Examines twentieth-century political and intellectual history through the theoretical lens of nationalism studies. Focuses on a set of authors highly relevant to understand contemporary political debates in Argentina and Latin America. Provides a clear sense of historical developments and changes over time in national identity constructions. Serves as a basic introduction to the political history of twentieth-century Argentina.

Argentina’s Partisan Past is a challenging new study about the production, the spread and the use of understandings of national history and identity for political purposes in twentieth-century Argentina. Based on extensive research, drawing on both archival and published sources, the book analyses the ways in which nationalist views about what it meant to be Argentine were built into the country’s long-drawn-out crisis of liberal democracy from the 1930s to the 1980s. Eschewing the notion of any straightforward relationship between cultural customs, ideas and political practices, the book provides a more nuanced framework for understanding the interplay between popular culture, intellectuals and the state in the promotion, co-option and repression of conflicting narratives about the nation’s history. Michael Goebel gives particular attention to the conditions for the production and the political use of cultural goods, especially the writings of historians. The intimate linkage between history and politics, he argues, helped Argentina’s partisan past of the period following independence to cast its shadow onto the middle decades of the twentieth century. This process is scrutinised within the framework of recent approaches to the study of nationalism, setting the case of Argentina within the context of current scholarly debates in this field. Argentina’s Partisan Past will be a valuable resource to both students of Argentine history and those interested in the ways in which nationalism has shaped our contemporary world.

Examines twentieth-century political and intellectual history through the theoretical lens of nationalism studies. Focuses on a set of authors highly relevant to understand contemporary political debates in Argentina and Latin America. Provides a clear sense of historical developments and changes over time in national identity constructions. Serves as a basic introduction to the political history of twentieth-century Argentina.

Cover image: San Vicente, ARGENTINA: Peronist activists take down a banner with an image of Juan Domingo Peron during the burial of his recently exhumed remains 17 October, 2006 in San Vicente, some 52 km south of Buenos Aires city. Peron, who died in 1974 but still looms large over Argentine politics, was interred in a mausoleum built at his country home in San Vicente. Clashes between different Peronist factions broke out before the arrival of the coffin, leaving at least 30 people injured. AFP PHOTO/Juan MABROMATA (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

1. In contrast to previous works, the book explicitly seeks to examine the political and intellectual history of twentieth-century through the theoretical lens of nationalism studies. 2. The book focuses on a set of authors highly relevant to understand contemporary political debates in Argentina and Latin America. 3. It provides a clear sense of historical developments and changes over time in national identity constructions. 4. By fully contextualising its object of analysis, the book can serve as a basic introduction to the political history of twentieth-century Argentina.

Argentina’s Partisan Past is a challenging new study about the production, the spread and the use of understandings of national history and identity for political purposes in twentieth-century Argentina. Based on extensive research, drawing on both archival and published sources, the book analyses the ways in which nationalist views about what it meant to be Argentine were built into the country’s long-drawn-out crisis of liberal democracy from the 1930s to the 1980s. Eschewing the notion of any straightforward relationship between cultural customs, ideas and political practices, the book provides a more nuanced framework for understanding the interplay between popular culture, intellectuals and the state in the promotion, co-option and repression of conflicting narratives about the nation’s history. Michael Goebel gives particular attention to the conditions for the production and the political use of cultural goods, especially the writings of historians. The intimate linkage between history and politics, he argues, helped Argentina’s partisan past of the period following independence to cast its shadow onto the middle decades of the twentieth century. This process is scrutinised within the framework of recent approaches to the study of nationalism, setting the case of Argentina within the context of current scholarly debates in this field. Argentina’s Partisan Past will be a valuable resource to both students of Argentine history and those interested in the ways in which nationalism has shaped our contemporary world.

An original and excellent piece of work.
David Rock, University of California, Santa Barbara

About The Author

Michael Goebel is Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (lecturer/assistant professor) of Global History at the Free University Berlin and John F. Kennedy Fellow at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half-title1
Title3
Copyright4
Contents5
Acknowledgements7
List of acronyms and abbreviations10
Introduction12
1 Argentina’s two pantheons: from mitrismo to revisionism33
Introduction33
Mitrismo, Argentina’s ‘official history’34
The Nueva Escuela and the Centenary Generation42
Nacionalismo, populist nationalists and the emergence of historical revisionism52
Conclusion65
2 Between co-optation and opposition: Peronism, nationalism and the politics of history, 1943-5575
Introduction75
Prelude to Perón: nacionalismo and the military, 1943–4677
Intellectuals, nationalism and the Peronist state82
Peronism and the pantheon of national heroes96
The effects of Peronist nationalism104
Conclusion107
3 The deepening polarisation: the proscription of Peronism and its politics of history, 1955-66118
Introduction118
Intellectuals and the rise of left-wing revisionism120
The politics of history under the Liberating Revolution130
Frondizi’s ‘integrationism’ and the emergence of Peronist-nationalist youth groups136
Conclusion146
4 The apogee of revisionism: nationalism, political violence and the politics of history, 1966-76155
Introduction155
Nationalism and history in the Onganía regime156
Historical narratives and the rise of middle-class and student Peronism164
The return of Peronism, 1973–76: revisionism’s victory?174
Conclusion181
5 New narratives for a new era? Shifts, decline and resurgence of nationalist constructions of the past since 1976191
Introduction191
Nationalism and the proceso193
The rise of irredentism and the decline of partisan nationalism204
Nationalism and democratisation: laying revisionism to rest?212
The accommodation and resurgence of revisionism under Menem and the Kirchners220
Conclusion228
Conclusion240
Glossary255
Bibliography258
Index282