This is an unsatisfactory and frustrating book. A good conservative critique of Peronism would be very welcome, as would be a careful analysis of the changes the movement underwent during Perón’s exile. This book attempts to accomplish these goals, but is so analytically inadequate and technically flawed that it will be of little use to the serious student of contemporary Argentina.

The author, a journalist who has edited several Buenos Aires news magazines, argues that when Perón returned to Argentina in 1973 “he found his own myth totally transformed into a toy of the world’s New Left” (p. 295). Much of the book is devoted to tracing this transformation in politics as well as its intrusion into the arts, journalism, education, literature, the labor movement, and even the Church. The result, Aizcorbe argues, is a set of simplistic Marxist myths which —in the name of Peronism—has increasingly dominated many important sectors of Argentine society and culture.

Although events in Argentina during the last few years lend a certain plausibility to this thesis, its impact is greatly weakened by the author’s emotional style, his tendency to lump the entire Argentine “left” together indiscriminately, and his frequent factual errors. The structure of the book is also unsatisfactory: its 313 pages are divided into sixty-two choppy chapters which are often poorly developed and weakly interconnected. There are a few footnotes, but the documentation is quite uneven and ignores the considerable amount of serious writing on Peronism which has been done both in Argentina and the United States. The text is full of names and events, but the lack of an index destroys its utility as a journalist reference. In short, the book is a very inadequate treatment of an important subject.