Here we have a real contribution to Peruvian history as well as to the War of Independence in the Perus. This is a scholarly book that contains all the necessary elements for excellence. It combines the work of three top historians. The occasion is the annotated publication of until now unpublished biographical sketches of Peruvian leaders of the struggle for independence, by the celebrated Manuel de Mendiburu, author of the much consulted Diccionario histórico biográfico del Perú, the first volume of which was published in 1874.
The introduction by Manuel Moreyra Paz-Soldán, another distinguished Peruvian of our own days, is a good example of what an introduction should be. It provides basic data, is well written, and it even summarizes the biographies of Mendiburu published in the book. A great part of the introduction is devoted to a welcome biography of Mendiburu. The third author is Félix Denegri Luna, who is also a well known and most dedicated Peruvian historian. He has provided the extensive notes, which are models of excellence and certainly make the Mendiburu biographies true contributions to Latin American history. Denegri Luna’s annotations show years of careful research. He has also added an appendix containing fourteen documents dealing with a proposed lengthy biography of José de la Riva Agüero y Sánchez Boquete.
The Mendiburu biographies number nineteen. Ten of these are lengthy, eight are short, and one—of Felipe Santiago Salaverry—is incomplete. The ten larger biographies are of: Pedro Pablo Bermúdez Ascarza, Jean Bautista Elésperu Montes de Oca, Agustín Gamarra Messia, Antonio Gutiérrez de la Fuente, José La Mar y Cortazar, Andrés de Santa Cruz y Calahumana, Miguel de San Román y Meza, José Bernardo de Tagle y Portocarrero e Isasaga, Juan Crisóstomo Torrico Gonzáles, and Manuel Ignacio Vivanco e Iturralde. The eight short ones are of: Juan de Berindoaga Palomares, Tomás de Heres y Rivero Morín, Miguel del Llano Nájera, Manuel María Martínez de Aparicio y Zantalla, Domingo Nieto Marqués, Francisco Salazar y Carrillo, Juan José Salazar y Carrillo, and José Pascual Vivero Salaberria.