In the Shadow of the State: Intellectuals and the Quest for National Identity in Twentieth-century Spanish America

Portada
Verso, 1999 - 342 páginas
Carlos Fuentes once observed that to be a Spanish American intellectual was to fulfill the roles, by default, of "a tribune, a member of parliament, a labor leader, a journalist, a redeemer of his society." Such statements reflect the view that the region's intellectuals have often acted as substitutes for the structures of a civil society.

An alternative view casts Spanish American intellectuals in a far more reactionary role. Here, it is suggested that the elaboration of inert popular stereotypes such as the stoic Indian and the heroic gaucho has resulted in an infinite postponement of authentic cultural identity, and a perpetuation, aided by intellectuals, of a social order in which popular demands were either ignored or repressed.

In the context of this debate, this book explores the roles played by intellectuals in the creation of popular national identities in twentieth-century Spanish America, and seeks to identify the factors which lie behind two such contrasting evaluations of their contribution. Ranging across the intellectual centers of Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Peru, it illustrates vividly the diversity and evolution of intellectual life in the region. Particular attention is paid to the idea of peripheral modernity and its influence on intellectual activity, as well as to the contributions made by intellectuals to the three major strands in debates on popular national identity: bi-culturalism, anti-imperialism and history.
 

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Índice

Theoretical Perspectives
11
Intellectuals and the Modernizing State in Spanish America
43
The Role of the Intellectual
95
The Ideology of Biculturalism
137
Antiimperialism among Spanish
174
History as Hieroglyphics
210
Conclusion
245
Notes
260
Select Bibliography
323
Index
335
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