Economic nationalism was an integral part of Perón’s repertoire of populist politics. It remains one of the most enduring images of that era and among the most important of Perón’s legacies to Argentine political culture. In Mitos, paradojas y realidades, Noemí Girbal-Blacha demonstrates the extent to which Peronist discourse was often contradicted in practice. The Perón governments of the 1940s and 1950s did represent a rupture in Argentine economic policy in some ways but also a continuation of the liberal tradition in others. Girbal-Blacha makes use of the recent opening of archives of public banks, such as the Banco Industrial (later the Banco Nacional de Desarrollo, or BANADE), to study Peronist economic policies through the avatars of the nationalized banking system and public credit.

A recognized authority on Argentine agrarian history, Girbal-Blacha devotes an early chapter to the history of industrial credit in...

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