The 1930s represent a paradoxical decade within Argentine cultural history. Historians in search of the origins of Peronism have uncovered rising class antagonisms in these years. The dislocations of import substitution industrialization and massive internal migration, along with the restricted political system ushered in by the military coup of 1930, deepened class resentment among workers, creating a receptive audience for Juan Perón’s populist message.1 But whereas this narrative emphasizes class-based polarization, a different historiography has stressed the integrative forces at work in these years. Beginning with several pioneering articles by Leandro Gutiérrez and Luis Alberto Romero on Buenos Aires in the interwar period, this scholarship has charted the emergence of a new identity rooted in the city’s rapidly expanding barrios, where home-ownership was becoming a more accessible goal and where skilled and unskilled workers often lived alongside white-collar employees, small-business owners, and...

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