Revolutionizing Motherhood / Edition 1

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Revolutionizing Motherhood examines one of the most astonishing human rights movements of recent years. During the Argentine junta's Dirty War against subversives, as tens of thousands were abducted, tortured, and disappeared, a group of women forged the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and changed Argentine politics forever. The Mothers began in the 1970s as an informal group of working-class housewives making the rounds of prisons and military barracks in search of their disappeared children. As they realized that both state and church officials were conspiring to withhold information, they started to protest, claiming the administrative center of Argentina the Plaza de Mayo for their center stage. In this volume, Marguerite G. Bouvard traces the history of the Mothers and examines how they have transformed maternity from a passive, domestic role to one of public strength. Bouvard also gives a detailed history of contemporary Argentina, including the military's debacle in the Falklands, the fall of the junta, and the efforts of subsequent governments to reach an accord with the Mothers. Finally, she examines their current agenda and their continuing struggle to bring the murderers of their children to justice.

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Editorial Reviews

A tale of incredible bravery...Highly recommended for general readers, upper-division undergraduates, and above.
New Mexico Historical Review
Bouvard's story would enhance any Latin American or women's studies course.
A tale of incredible bravery...Highly recommended for general readers, upper-division undergraduates, and above.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A group of ordinary Argentine women transformed by extraordinary events into a political force is the theme of this detailed study of human rights activism in Argentina. Bouvard's dense survey of the military junta and the Dirty War it waged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during which tens of thousands disappeared, were kidnapped or were tortured, tells readers little that's been unreported. She charts new territory, however, in her meticulous and emotional recounting of how an informal group of working-class housewives banded together to seek their disappeared children. Her central thesis, that the Mothers have created a political role for maternity, is hammered home and supported with arguments from Hannah Arendt, but doesn't always convince. Bouvard counters criticism from some feminists that the Mothers cling to a maternal role and support a patriarchal structure, asserting that ``They have redefined the private and public spheres and sought to create a political space where the two combine in their organization and political agenda.'' Revolutionizing Motherhood isn't an unflinching homage to the courageous women. Bouvard serves up a few critical asides herself, noting a Cuban trip the Mothers took with a seemingly blind eye to alleged and documented human rights violations there, and she disparages the Mother's alliance with the Front for Human Rights, a group, she claims, which had ulterior motives and divergent political goals. (May)
Library Journal
Argentina was rich, modern, and semi-democratic until its economy faltered and left-wing violence paved the way for the brutal Dirty War of 1976-83. Disappearances and torture on the slightest suspicion were the response to any opposition to the military regimes. Typical was the Night of the Pencils, when 16 high school students protesting a rise in schoolbus fares disappeared. Only three returned. Fear was such that only a group of mothers dared publicly to defy the regime by demanding information about their missing. Their steely pacifism in the face of such danger made them a symbol of human rights internationally. Bouvard's work gives a more retrospective and up-to-date evaluation of the mothers' political style than does Jo Fisher's Mothers of the Disappeared (Zed, 1989) and John Simpson and Jana Bennett's The Disappeared and the Mothers of the Plaza (LJ 11/15/85), but all three are excellent choices for any library.-Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842024877
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Latin American Silhouettes Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 278
  • Sales rank: 719,152
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo 1
Ch. 1 The Dirty War 19
Ch. 2 The Politics of Violence and Terror 47
Ch. 3 The Mothers Come Together 65
Ch. 4 Resistance Mounts 93
Ch. 5 The Junta Falls 115
Ch. 6 Speaking Truth to Power 129
Ch. 7 Socializing Maternity 175
Ch. 8 Revolutionary Mothers 195
Ch. 9 A New Model in the Struggle for Human Rights 219
Ch. 10 Taking Space: Women and Political Power 241
Bibliography 261
Index 269
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2001

    Tragic circumstances... Amazing results

    Simply an incredible story about the plight of these woman and the toughness to stick to their principles in the face of condemnation from the government and the general populous that was/is Argentina. Also sheds light on Reagan Administration and how it supported military dictatorship. A must read for anyone intrested in human rights as well as Latin American issues.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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