Although it was unquestionably the worst natural disaster in Argentine history, the 1944 earthquake in San Juan has been reduced to a mere anecdote: the quake gave Juan Domingo Perón national visibility as he organized the relief collection that made him cross paths with Eva Duarte, the woman who would help him build one of the most powerful and enduring political movements in Latin America. In his finely written and thoroughly researched study, Mark Healey convincingly disputes this anecdotal status, reclaiming the earthquake as a central episode in twentieth-century national and provincial politics. Healey’s book joins a historiography that has moved the study of Peronism away from the traditional focus on Buenos Aires and the labor movement. In line with current scholarship that has criticized the idea of “natural disasters” by focusing on their social, political, and cultural consequences, Healey innovatively looks at...

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