Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980-1995 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 38%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 49%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $13.98   
  • New (3) from $21.37   
  • Used (6) from $13.98   


Shining and Other Paths offers the first systematic account of the social experiences at the heart of the war waged between Shining Path and the Peruvian military during the 1980s and early 1990s. Confronting and untangling the many myths and enigmas that surround the war and the wider history of twentieth-century Peru, this book presents clear and often poignant analyses of the brutal reshaping of life and politics during a war that cost tens of thousands of lives.

The contributors—a team of Peruvian and U.S. historians, social scientists, and human rights activists—explore the origins, social dynamics, and long-term consequences of the effort by Shining Path to effect an armed communist revolution. The book begins by interpreting Shining Path’s emergence and decision for war as one logical culmination, among several competing culminations, of trends in oppositional politics and social movements. It then traces the experiences of peasants and refugees to demonstrate how human struggle and resilience came together in grassroots determination to defeat Shining Path, and explores the unsuccessful efforts of urban shantytown dwellers, as well as rural and urban activists, to build a “third path” to social justice. Integral to this discussion is an examination of women’s activism and consciousness during the years of the crisis. Finally, this book analyzes the often paradoxical and unintended legacies of this tumultuous period for social and human rights movements, and for presidential and military leadership in Peru.

Extensive field research, broad historical vision, and strong editorial coordination enable the authors to write a coherent and deeply humanistic account, one that draws out the inner tragedies, ambiguities, and conflicts of the war.

Providing historically grounded explication of the conflicts that reshaped contemporary Peru, Shining and Other Paths will be widely read by Latin Americanists, historians, anthropologists, gender theorists, sociologists, political scientists, and human rights activists.

Contributors. Jo-Marie Burt, Marisol de la Cadena, Isabel Coral Cordero, Carlos Iván Degregori, Iván Hinojosa, Carlos Basombrío Iglesias, Florencia E. Mallon, Nelson Manrique, Hortensia Muñoz, Enrique Obando, Patricia Oliart, Ponciano del Pino H., José Luis Rénique, Orin Starn, Steve J. Stern

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book unquestionably exceeds the editor’s and contributors’ expectations ‘that the whole of the collaborative work is larger than the sum of its parts’. . . . The volume offers insightful and comprehensive analyses and interpretations of the most violent and destructive terrorist movement in the Americas. . . . The contributions are all uniformly valuable. . . . The excellent scholarship, style, editing, and translations all combine to make this one of the best volumes on the Shining Path available in English. Highly recommended for all readers. . . .” - Choice

Shining and Other Paths will be an indispensable text . . . as it provides one of the most comprehensive and well-documented explorations to date of the historical origins and development of Shining Path.” - Phillip Mauceri, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

Shining and Other Paths, ably edited by Stern, presents analyses by U. S. scholars and several important Peruvian scholars and activists, some of whose work has never before been available in English. . . . [W]ide-ranging and detailed. . . .” - Eric Selbin, Latin American Research Review

“[G]athers important scholarly voices to demystify the Shining Path by locating it in relationship to other social and political processes through nuanced studies of specific issues and regions. . . . [A]n important and useful contribution to understanding a movement that for far more than a decade disastrously shook Peru and its scholarship.” - David Knowlton, American Ethnologist

“Steve J. Stern has prepared with utmost care a rich and satisfying intellectual banquet in Shining and Other Paths . . . . [M]asterfully crafted and satisfying . . . . Few edited volumes reflect such coherence and high quality across all the contributors. Steve Stern and his collaborators have produced a definitive contribution to scholarship that manages to satisfy quite completely our need to understand the radical movement that came so close to taking power in the early 1990s, as well as its enduring effects on Peruvian society and politics.” - David Scott Palmer, Hispanic American Historical Review

“A brilliantly conceived and executed study of the guerrilla insurgency in Peru. . . . This is exactly the kind of historically grounded work on Shining Path that we have long lacked and happily now have.”—Peter Klarén, George Washington University

“This collection of essays will bring to English-language readers the most comprehensive, most nuanced exploration of Shining Path—and of Peru during the last fifteen years—available.”— John Tutino, Georgetown University

Phillip Mauceri

Shining and Other Paths will be an indispensable text . . . as it provides one of the most comprehensive and well-documented explorations to date of the historical origins and development of Shining Path.”
Eric Selbin

Shining and Other Paths, ably edited by Stern, presents analyses by U. S. scholars and several important Peruvian scholars and activists, some of whose work has never before been available in English. . . . [W]ide-ranging and detailed. . . .”
David Knowlton

“[G]athers important scholarly voices to demystify the Shining Path by locating it in relationship to other social and political processes through nuanced studies of specific issues and regions. . . . [A]n important and useful contribution to understanding a movement that for far more than a decade disastrously shook Peru and its scholarship.”

“This book unquestionably exceeds the editor’s and contributors’ expectations ‘that the whole of the collaborative work is larger than the sum of its parts’. . . . The volume offers insightful and comprehensive analyses and interpretations of the most violent and destructive terrorist movement in the Americas. . . . The contributions are all uniformly valuable. . . . The excellent scholarship, style, editing, and translations all combine to make this one of the best volumes on the Shining Path available in English. Highly recommended for all readers. . . .”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822322177
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Latin America Otherwise Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 534
  • Sales rank: 948,571
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve J. Stern is Alberto Flores Galindo Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His books include Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640, Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries, and The Secret History of Gender: Women, Men, and Power in Late Colonial Mexico.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Shining and Other Paths

War and Society in Peru, 1980â"1995

By Steve J. Stern

Duke University Press

Copyright © 1998 Duke University Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8223-9805-9


From Race to Class: Insurgent Intellectuals de provincia in Peru, 1910–1970

Marisol de la Cadena

Have you all noticed what is happening to the cholo Tello? They say that now he is a doctor and plans to travel abroad! Don't you remember that he was one of so many serranitos who lived poorly and people said he was a "witch" because at night he chatted with "skulls" and "bones of pagans?" Don't you all remember that the police took his skulls to see if he was "crazy" or "possessed" like the newspapers said in Lima? —Some neighbors of Julio C. Tello in Lima, circa 1917

Tello is a national institution all by himself, and there is more work going on in his museum with a higher class of personnel than I have seen anywhere else. This old Indian is really as good as the tales that are told about him, and if he falls short by some academic standards I'll still maintain that he is the greatest archaeologist in the New World, and I'll argue the point in detail if someone else wishes me to. Also I'm inclined to think that he is the cornerstone of social science in Peru in spite of the fact that he deals with a distant time. —Carl O. Sauer, U.S. geographer, 1942

* In the secondary schools of Peru, students learn that Julio C. Tello was one of the first and most important archaeologists in the country. Sometimes teachers will mention that he was born in the province of Huarochirí, in the sierra that overlooks Lima. They never recount, and perhaps do not even know, that the future archaeologist arrived in the capital in the first decades of the century, with his father and a little bundle of clothes. Much less do they suspect that his neighbors in Lima called him a serranito, a word that emphasizes his "Indian" physical features, which is how the geographer Carl O. Sauer, without cultural or social inhibitions, referred to him.

This chapter will analyze two periods in the history of Peruvian academic culture that serve to contextualize the preceding quotes. The first, from the 1910s to the 1930s, was an era of "insurgency" by intellectuals from the provinces. The second began in the 1940s when the intellectuals de provincia began to capture intellectual spaces. Sauer witnessed this moment and Tello was one of the first provincials incorporated into the intellectual elite of Lima. The second period ended around 1970, when the distinction between provincials and Limeños, although it did not disappear, became more diffuse. The central argument of this essay runs as follows. While in the first period, "race" (raza) was a central category of intellectual analysis, description, and diagnosis of "Peruvian society," in the second period the academics decided to replace race with notions of "culture" and social class. Nonetheless, race continued to matter in daily life and in the social hierarchies that governed relationships between intellectuals and other members of the society analyzed by the intellectuals. Thus, the racial taxonomies that the intellectuals used in the first epoch did not lose their importance. On the contrary, although race was no longer used explicitly in academic discourse, the categories of analysis that prevailed after the 1930s referred to race implicitly.

The purpose of this essay is not to analyze intellectual figures or the ideas of the Shining Path elite. I merely seek to describe the academic culture of the provinces and its relationship with Lima before the war unleashed by Abimael Guzmán and the intelligentsia that surrounded him. As we shall see in the epilogue, although Shining Path intellectuals defined themselves as outside of history, in truth they most certainly were not. Not only were they part of Peruvian academic culture, but in this culture they occupied a social space that, like any other, was immersed in historically constructed relations of power. In addition, senderista ideas and sentiments were nourished by the pre-1970 antecedents examined here. In this context it is important to study the relations of subordination vis-à-vis Limeños in which intellectuals de provincia, such as Abimael Guzmán and his immediate circle, found themselves before the 1970s.

The First Decades of the Century

The comments of Julio C. Tello's neighbors enunciated one element of the racial hierarchies that colored life in Lima during the early decades of the twentieth century. Tello lived poorly on money sent by his parents and an aunt, and on incomes from small projects. He rented a small room on Chillon street in a working-class neighborhood. Don Julio shared with his neighbors their economic poverty and their phenotype—brown skin, straight hair, and short height. They were cholos, a flexible social label that broadly included all of those who did not have white skin. The difference between Tello and his vecinos, however, was that Don Julio was serrano (from the sierra). Incrusted in geography, the cultural construction of race in Peru assumed, and continues to assume, that serranos are inferior to costeños (people of the coast) because they descend from Indians. Obviously, the Indians occupy an inferior place in the reigning sodoracial taxonomy, and because Tello's neighbors had been born in Lima, therefore, they were supposedly superior. But to their surprise, Tello inverted the relation by acquiring a university degree and becoming a "doctor." He was not a folk healer (curandero), an occupation with which his neighbors were surely familiar, but rather a medical doctor. He had acquired knowledge that was socially accepted among the "whites" of Lima. Although this title placed him above the masses of serranitos ("little serranos") who migrated to Lima in search of a better future, Tello and his cohorts, in their relations with Limeños, had to struggle against the racial stigma of not being socially white.

The racism of "superiors" in regards to the "inferiors" was complicated. The governing elite of the country tempered racism with certain "patriotic exigencies" (in the words of the aristocrat Javier Prado). The elites went from "rehabilitating the indigenous people," to "promoting" education in the provinces, and eventually to accepting the legitimacy of "nonwhite" intellectuals. To patriotism they added, in the first years of the provincial intellectual insurgency, the prestige attributed to science that circulated in political thought in Latin America. One result was that in Peru the idea spread that academic knowledge provided legitimacy to politicians; thus, it was imperative to replace the military-political bosses (caudillos) with politician-intellectuals. The equation of academic knowledge with political power, in a context of commercial expansion, opened the space for a large number of middle-class men from the provinces to join university studies with political careers. In addition to renovating the political life of the country, the combination of the academy and politics served as a mechanism of social ascent for individual provincials, first in their places of origin and then in Lima.

An important ingredient in this new conjuncture was the defeat of the political monopoly of civilismo, the political group that had governed Peru since 1895 and represented the landowning aristocracy. The downfall of the civilistas began in the early 1910s and culminated when Augusto B. Leguía (1919–1930) became president of the Republic. The name of "New Fatherland" (Patria Nueva) with which he baptized his administration signaled the emergence of a new governing class. At first, the new provincial intellectual-politicians played a preponderant role in the Leguía regime—as part of the Patria Nueva, they personified the opposition to the intellectual aristocracy. By 1923, when the Leguía administration began to withdraw support for the provincials—to the point of exiling and imprisoning them—the intellectual opposition was already incrusted in Peruvian politics. Years later they would become the intellectual elite. From the 1920s and 1930s, the most prolific artists and academics in Peru were either anti-aristocrats, provincials, or both. Nonetheless, neither the avalanche of their production, nor their indisputable preeminence in Peruvian intellectual life, erased the evidence that, like Tello, they were serranos or provincianos. Although their academic titles distanced them from the rest of the cholos and silenced public acknowledgment of their skin color, the perception of the provincials as a racially different group was widely accepted.

The Repudiation of Scientific Racism and Racial Sentiments

As in other countries of Latin America, the idea of "scientific politics" (política científica) became popular in Peru in the first decades of the twentieth century. Influenced by the ideas of the Uruguayan José Enrique Rodó and the Argentine José Ingenieros, the new Peruvian intellectuals—both conservatives and progressives—sought to replace rule by the military caudillo, and to research the past "scientifically" to find the precolonial and colonial roots of the country. This, they claimed, would help them to formulate policies consistent with the culture of the population and render governance feasible. In general, the new politico-intellectual class sought to invent the Peruvian nation in order to govern it. The generations of Peruvian intellectuals that lived in the first decades of the century believed it their duty to orient their academic knowledge toward the solution of national problems.

As actors in a period in which "race" was considered to be one of the most relevant areas of scientific innovation, the intellectuals perceived the racial composition of Peru as an important national problem. Nancy Leys Stepan, in her study of national projects in Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil, discovered that the efforts of intellectuals in these three countries to reevaluate "the national self were carried out in the name of race, not in rejection of race as an explanatory variable." The Peruvian case was somewhat different. The most influential among the new Peruvian intellectuals faced a dilemma. On the one hand, they rejected the scientific notion of race as a biological inheritance and the racial taxonomies that created definitive racial scales. On the other hand, they continued to believe in racial hierarchies and therefore constructed taxonomies that included both social hierarchy and the possibility of "ascending" racially.

Let us begin with one aspect of their dilemma. For José Carlos Mariátegui, the famous radical intellectual, the concept of biological race was "totally fictitious and assumed" and the notion of inferior races had served "the white west in its work of expansion and conquest." Hildebrando Castro Pozo, an intellectual from Piura who was very active in Lima during the first years of the Leguía government and very influential in Mariátegui's work, thought that "the racist vocabulary is a convenient cliché without scientific substance to explain, conceal, and excuse certain socio-economic-political pretensions." Víctor Andrés Belaúnde, one of the leading intellectual renovators of conservatism, shared this position. He considered "unacceptable and simplistic the conclusion of the ethnologists who have dogmatized so much regarding the racial inferiority of the aboriginal race, its defects and the vices of mestizaje [race mixture] and the biological degeneration of the whites."

Yet, the new intellectuals were also enmeshed in what Mariátegui called "racial sentiment." The new intellectuals—whites and nonwhites, aristocrats and nonaristocrats, conservatives and radicals—lived lives that were socially and culturally shaped by racial hierarchies. The experience of the cholo Tello and his neighbors was not exceptional. Consider, for example, the case of the medical doctor Nuñez Butrón from Puno:

In the community of Jasana while the inhabitants called him misti ... in the capital of the province of Azángaro they called him Indian ... and after he was educated they considered him misti. In Puno, in the School of San Carlos they labeled him a provincial Indian and then when he excelled they considered him misti. In Lima, he was considered serrano and provinciano ... in the University of Arequipa they called him Indian and chuño [desiccated potato] only later to promote him to a social category equal to that of his classmates, and when he returned [to Puno] and to his pueblo there was no one who would call him Indian. Spain was the only place where they considered him an equal.

Nuñez Butrón did his university studies in Arequipa, Lima, and Barcelona. In the first two cities and in Puno, depending on who would speak with him and where, Nuñez Butrón was classified differently—as nonwhite, but located differently within the complex gamut of numerous, subtle, and culturally constructed racial possibilities that differentiated among nonwhites. His becoming a doctor erased the label "Indian" that had been applied to him as a native of an indigenous community, as the degree of "Dr." elevated him to the level of his provincial classmates. In the eyes of an aristocrat such as Belaúnde, however, he would continue to be seen as a serrano and provincial. Only in Spain, where the cultural construction of race operated differently, did the Puneño doctor find himself free of Peruvian-style racial relationships and etiquettes.

Racial sentiments, as meanings and values that are actively lived and felt—in other words as part of what Raymond Williams calls a "structure of feelings"—were a central part of the Peruvian cultural construction of race and they colored alternative racial scientific taxonomies. Peruvian racial sentiments ended up mixing, in complex ways, a rejection of biological determinism with ideas of racial difference and "legitimate" hierarchies derived from them. The new generation of intellectuals shared a sense of shame about the racism of previous generations. Conservatives and progressives relieved their shame by believing that it was possible to improve the "inferior" races. The principle disagreement that divided them (which roughly coincided with the division between Limeños and provincials) was about the most appropriate formula for "improving" the races and changing the racial physiognomy of the country.

Provincials versus Limeños

Provincials and Limeños coincided partially in their diagnostics of the ills that plagued the country. After visiting Cuzco, José de la Riva Agüero, Limeño aristocrat and political ally of Víctor Andrés Belaúnde, complained of the electoral practices of political caudillos: "Election season will arrive with its boisterous retinues and abuses; the vast and solitary plaza will boil with inebriated people, lassoed from the most distant villages; shouts will be heard, ferocious insults, shots, and running; some unfortunates will die without knowing why, nor by whom; the mob will acclaim the candidate imposed, ephemeral feudal señor, often incapable of understanding a program or conceiving of an idea, mute instrument of the government or of a friend." During his stay in the "Imperial City," Riva Agüero was a guest of local intellectuals, who probably influenced his opinion of local politics. Note the similarity between the preceding quote and the following affirmation by Luis E. Valcárcel: "The boss (cacique) is omnipotent in his province. His power is unlimited ... once the electoral base atomizes, no resistance is possible. Then comes the candidacy of an outsider, supported by the central government and through transactions with the gamonal, who cedes to his demands in exchange for a "plate of lentils" represented by a sub-prefectureship."


Excerpted from Shining and Other Paths by Steve J. Stern. Copyright © 1998 Duke University Press. Excerpted by permission of Duke University Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

About the Series
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction Beyond Enigma: An Agenda for Interpreting Shining Path and Peru, 1980-1995 1
Pt. I Within and Against History: Conceptualizing Roots
1 From Race to Class: Insurgent Intellectuals de provincia in Peru, 1910-1970 22
2 On Poor Relations and the Nouveau Riche: Shining Path and the Radical Peruvian Left 60
3 Chronicle of a Path Foretold? Velasco's Revolution, Vanguardia Revolucionaria, and "Shining Omens" in the Indigenous Communities of Andahuaylas 84
Pt. II The Conquest that Failed: The War for the Center-South
4 Harvesting Storms: Peasant Rondas and the Defeat of Sendero Luminoso in Ayacucho 128
5 Family, Culture, and "Revolution": Everyday Life with Sendero Luminoso 158
6 The War for the Central Sierra 193
7 Villagers at Arms: War and Counterrevolution in the Central-South Andes 224
Pt. III Obliterating Third Paths: The Battles of Lima and Puno
8 Shining Path and the "Decisive Battle" in Lima's Barriadas: The Case of Villa El Salvador 267
9 Apogee and Crisis of a "Third Path": Mariateguismo, "People's War," and Counterinsurgency in Puno, 1987-1994 307
Pt. IV Women as Citizen-Subjects: Exploring the Gendered War
10 Women in War: Impact and Responses 345
Pt. V Political Rule, Political Culture: The Ironic Legacies of War
11 Civil-Military Relations in Peru, 1980-1996: How to Control and Coopt the Military (and the consequences of doing so) 385
12 Alberto Fujimori: "The Man Peru Needed?" 411
13 Sendero Luminoso and Human Rights: A Perverse Logic that Captured the Country 425
14 Human Rights and Social Referents: The Construction of New Sensibilities 447
Conclusion Shining and Other Paths: The Origins, Dynamics, and Legacies of War, 1980-1995
Abbreviations and Organizations
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)