Peru at the Crossroads
As García took office on July 28, 1985--at thirty-six
youngest chief executive to assume power in Peru's
seemed to awaken hope among Peruvians for the future.
had no previous experience in elected office, he
his decisive electoral victory illustrated, the necessary
charisma to mobilize Peruvians to confront their problems.
same time, the governing APRA party won a majority in the
Congress, assuring the new president support for his
meet the crisis.
The crisis seemed daunting indeed. The foreign debt
over US$13 billion, real wages had eroded by 30 percent
1980, prices for Peru's exports on the world market
the economy was gripped in recession, and guerrilla
spreading. The future of Peru's fledgling
hinged on García's ability to reverse these trends and, at
bottom, to restore sustained economic growth and
The García Government, 1985-90, ch. 4).
* * *
There are a number of good, general histories of Peru.
include Magnus Mörner's The Andean Past, David P.
Werlich's Peru: A Short History, and Michael Reid's
Peru: Paths to Poverty. The reader should also
chapters on Peru in the authoritative, multivolume,
History of Latin America (CHLA), edited by Leslie
good general introduction to the colonial period is Mark
Burkholder and Lyman L. Johnson's Colonial Latin
The works of John V. Murra are seminal on the
period, a good introduction being his chapter "Andean
Before 1532," in the CHLA. Most useful on the Incas and
Conquest are the brilliant works of Nathan Wachtel, The
of the Vanquished, and John Hemming's The Conquest
Incas. A powerful account in defense of the native
after conquest is Felipe Huamán Poma de Ayala's Letter
King, while the mestizo chronicler Garcilaso de la
Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of
Peru constitutes the first truly Peruvian vision of
Andes. Particularly incisive works on the colonial system
Karen Spalding's Huarochirí: An Andean Society Under
Spanish Rule and Steve J. Stern's Peru's Indian
and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest.
The postindependence period has received innovative
in Paul E. Gootenberg's Between Silver and Guano
P. Jacobsen's Mirages of Transition. Rosemary Thorp
Geoffrey Bertram's Peru 1890-1977 is the standard
on twentieth-century economic development. Richard C. Webb
Graciela Fernández Baca de Valdéz's Perú en números
provides important statistics on twentieth-century Peru.
chapters in the CHLA cover the 1880-1962 period: Heraclio
Bonilla's "Peru and Bolivia," Peter F. Klarén's "Origins
Modern Peru, 1880-1930," Geoffrey Bertram's "Peru:
and Julio Cotler's "Peru since 1960." Incisive analyses on
can be found in Klarén's Modernization, Dislocation,
Aprismo,Steve Stein's Populism in Peru, and
B. Pike's The Politics of the Miraculous in Peru.
Relations with the United States are surveyed adroitly by
The United States and the Andean Republics. The
revolution of 1968 receives important attention from
McClintock and Abraham F. Lowenthal (eds.) in The
Experiment Reconsidered and in Alfred Stepan's The
and Society. The crisis of the early 1980s is analyzed
José Matos Mar's Un Desborde popular. (For further
information and complete citations,
Data as of September 1992