Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two recent books about Peronism

Juan Bautista Yofre, El Escarmiento. La ofensiva de Perón contra Cámpora y los montoneros. 1973 - 1974, Planeta, 2010. 440 pp.

Jose Pablo Feinmann, Peronismo. Filosofía política de una persistencia argentina. Cámpora y los Montoneros. Sudamericana, 2010. 770 pp.

A good book about peronism is always a reason to celebrate, and Juan Baustista Yofre's book is a cause for celebration. In spite of the fact that Peronism, the political movement created by Juan Domingo Perón, has largely determined the political and historical process in Argentina the second half of the twentieth century, it has not been a matter of scholarly debate. It could be said that Peronism has been much more matter of opinion than an object of systematic study.

Jorge Asis, an argentine writer and former diplomat, offers a lucid analysis on two books recently published on peronism.

One of the books was written by an investigative reporter, Juan Bautista Yofre, and the other, by José Pablo Feinmann, a jewish philosopher living in Argentina.

The period covered by Yofre is from the return of Peron on June 1973 until his death on July 1, 1974. Feinmann book is more comprehensive covering the period from 1943 to 1972.

According to Asis, "El Escarmiento" ("The Chastisement")was based on hard facts while the other, Feinmann's book is more a freestyle interpretation by a former peronist follower.

While Feinmann prefers the first Peron - alluding to Peron's first term- a much more authoritarian and uncompromising figure, Yofre likes the last Peron, a mature stateman who could understand the gravity of the marxist infiltration in his party and took the neccesary steps to get rid of it. For Feinmann this depuration of marxists elements ammounts to a dirty work.

Yofre has documented extensively the training of Montoneros and other armed groups in Cuba in that period. This marxist infiltration in a national movement is commonly referred as "entrismo" (to infiltrate).

Asis considers that Feinmann has committed some exagerations in his appreciations such as considering Heidegger, the German philosopher, a "proto-peronist". Feinmann, has become disillusioned with peronism and joined the FPV, the political party founded by the Kirchners. He writes a monthly column in the pro-government newspaper, Pagina 12 with apologies to the Kirchners which are under heavy criticism for charges of corruption.

Yofre's book is important not only for his extensive research, but in the contribution it makes to our understanding of both Peronism and democracy in Argentina. He shed some light on Father Mujica's murder in Buenos Aires at the hand of the Montoneros. He also refers to former Minister of Foreign Relations Jorge Taiana's incarceration as occurring during the peronist period (Peron's wife term) not during the military period. At that time Taiana was charged with setting a bomb in a coffee shop in Buenos Aires and killing a waiter. The bomb was directed to navy officers who were sitting at the coffee shop but they left the place before the explotion took place.

See here Asis' article in Spanish.

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Julius Evola, EL MAESTRO