Much more than the story of the past of a South American country, History’s Peru examines how the subject or “entity and being” named “Peru” was created and how the historical narratives that defined and sustained that subject shifted over time. Mark Thurner demonstrates that the concept of “Peru” is both a strange and enlightening invention of the modern colonial historical imagination—an invention that lives on today as a postcolonial wager on a democratic political future that can only be imagined in its own historicist terms.
Thurner offers a brilliant account of Peruvian historiography, one that makes a pioneering contribution not only to Latin American studies but to the history of historical thought at large. He traces the seminal contributions of Peru’s key historians, from the early colonial period through the twentieth century, and teases out the theoretical underpinnings of their approaches. His deeply informed readings of Peru’s most influential historians—from Inca Garcilaso de la Vega to Jorge Basadre—are among the most subtle and powerful available in English. Finally, Thurner demonstrates that Peruvian historical thought may be read as a critique both of European history and Anglophone postcolonial theory.
A fascinating counterexample to those who mistakenly believe history is only an exact and objective science, History’s Peru is an intellectual adventure of wide scope and great originality.
Mark Thurner, associate professor of history and anthropology at the University of Florida, is the author of From Two Republics to One Divided: Contradictions of Postcolonial Nationmaking in Andean Peru.
|Publisher:||University Press of Florida|
|Product dimensions:||13.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Mark Thurner is associate professor of history and anthropology at the University of Florida.