Shining Path: Guerrilla War in Peru's Northern Highlands, 1980-1997

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The jagged edges of South American societies attest to innumerable wars, relentless poverty, and a host of illicit activity that make the region a tumultuous brew of politics and military aggression. Peru in particular suffered one of the bloodiest civil wars in contemporary Latin American history during the 1980s and early 1990s, when the Sendero Luminoso, or ?Shining Path,? launched an assault to overthrow the national government. Lewis Taylor focuses here on an under-examined yet crucially important aspect of ...

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Overview

The jagged edges of South American societies attest to innumerable wars, relentless poverty, and a host of illicit activity that make the region a tumultuous brew of politics and military aggression. Peru in particular suffered one of the bloodiest civil wars in contemporary Latin American history during the 1980s and early 1990s, when the Sendero Luminoso, or “Shining Path,” launched an assault to overthrow the national government. Lewis Taylor focuses here on an under-examined yet crucially important aspect of this pivotal conflict, the Northern Front in the northern highlands of Peru. 

Shining Path opens with a historical overview of Sendero Luminoso, moving from its origins to how it grew to sufficient size and strength to attempt revolt. Taylor then probes the development and progress of the Sendero Luminoso’s revolutionary campaign from 1982 through 1992, analyzing the factors that catalyzed and sustained a war in which nearly 70,000 lives were lost. The nature of rural revolt and revolution is a central issue to this study, and Taylor investigates particular conflicts in the mountainous northern highlands as a vital case study for guerrilla warfare in harsh rural landscapes. 

The wars of the twenty-first century have been marked by the increasingly successful use of guerrilla warfare. Thus Shining Path is a timely analysis of the political and structural nature of such warfare and how it will transform the notion and actuality of war in years to come.

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Meet the Author

Lewis Taylor is a lecturer in Latin American sociology at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool.

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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Tables, Figures and Maps
List of Abbreviations
 
1.  Maoism in the Andes
2.  Landscapes and History
3.  Early Moves to 'Reconstruct the Party', 1979-82
4.  'Batiendo el Campo':  Guerilla Expansion, 1983-92
5.  Seeming Victory, Concealed Defeat:  Guerilla Retreat, 1992-97
6.  Peasants and Revolution
 
Bibliography
Index

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