This pithy book is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersections of urban landscapes, nationalism, political and social power, postcolonialism, art and architecture at the service of the state, indigenismo, diasporic communities, and the appropriation of the archaeological past for contemporary goals. Written clearly, cogently argued, well documented, and abundantly illustrated (with congratulations to the press for the high quality of image reproduction), Gabriel Ramón Joffré offers us highly original insights into the relationship between the changing physiognomy of Lima—the capital city of Peru—and the social, political, and economic forces that were inscribing themselves on the urban landscape in the early twentieth century.

Ramón Joffré observes that the past is ever visible in coastal Peru, for huacas (ancient adobe platform mounds) dot the agricultural fields, towns, and cities that have grown up in the multiple river valleys. He documents the...

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