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Evita and the Crisis of 17 October 1945: A Case Study of Peronist and Anti-Peronist Mythology

  • Marysa Navarro

Extract

By the time Evita* died on 26 July 1952, she had become the source of two widely contradictory myths coexisting side by side as if their subject were two different persons. In one, she was the beloved saint who had sacrificed her life for the poor; in the other, the ambitious parvenue who used her power to satisfy her insatiable thirst for revenge.

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* Throughout this essay, Eva Perón or María Eva Duarte de Perón will be called by her political name, Evita.

1 Whitaker, Arthur P., Argentina (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall, 1964), p. 113.

2 Blanksten, George I., Perón's Argentina (Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1953), p. 91.

3 Lux-Wurm, Pierre, Le Péronisme (Paris, 1965), pp. 101–2.

4 Bailey, Samuel L., Labor, Nationalism and Politics in Argentina (New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1967), p. 201.

5 Scobie, James, Argentina, A City and A Nation (2nd edition New York, Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 223.

6 Potash, Robert A., The Army & Politics in Argentina 1928–1945. Yrigoyen to Perón (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1969), p. 272.

7 See, for example: Alexander, Robert J., The Perón Era (New York, Columbia University Press, 1951);Boizard, Ricardo, Esa noche de Perón (Buenos Aires, 1955, 4th edition);Bourne, Richard, Political Leaders of Latin America (Middlesex, Penguin Books, 1969);Cowles, Fleur, Bloody Precedent: The Perón Story (Chicago, Frederick Muller, 1952);Donghi, Tulio Halperín, Argentina en el cailejón (Montevideo, Arca, 1964);Lombille, Román J., Eva, la predestinada. Alucinante historia de éxitos y frustraciones (Buenos Aires, Gure, 1955);Perón, Juan, Del poder al exilio. Cómo y quiénes me derrocaron (Buenos Aires, no pub., no date), and Rabinovitz, Bernardo, Sucedió en la Argentina. Lo que no se dijo, 1943–1956 (Buenos Aires, Ediciones Gure, 1956).

8 See Primera Plana Nos. 152, 153 and 154 (October 1965).

9 Luna, Félix, El 45. Crónica de un año decisivo (2nd edition, Buenos Aires, Editorial Sudamericana, 1972), pp. 340–1.

10 Reyes, Cipriano, Yo hice el 17 de octubre, Memorias (Buenos Aires, 1973), p. 246. Also interview with Cipriano Reyes, November 1975 Monzalvo, Luís, Testigo de la primera hora del peronismo. Memorias de un ferroviario (Buenos Aires, Editorial Pleamar, 1974). Also, Rotondaro, Ruben, Realidad y cambio social en el sindicalismo argentino (Buenos Aires, Editorial Pleamar, 1971).

11 Gambini, Hugo, El 7 de octubre de 1945 (Buenos Aires, Editorial Brújula, 1969).

12 ‘La C.G.T. y el 17 de octubre,’ Todo es Historia, No. 103 (February, 1976).

13 Luna, op. cit., p. 340.

14 See El Líder, 16 October 1947 through 1952.

15 My own research leads me to conclude that Evita was born in Toldos, Los, on 7 May 1919. The birth certificate she presented for her marriage was false. She obtained it because her original document did not include the name of her father, Juan Duarte, and thus revealed her illegitimacy.

16 See Ghioldi, Américo, El mito de Eva Duarte (Montevideo, 1952);Acossano, Benigno, Eva Perón, su verdadera vida (Buenos Aires, Editorial Lamas, 1955);Estrada, Ezequiel Martínez, ¿Qué es esto? Catilinaria (Buenos Aires, Editorial Lautaro, 1956) and Franco, Luís, Biografía patria (Buenos Aires, Ediciones Stilcograf, 1958).

17 Main, Mary (Maria Flores), The Woman with the Whip: Eva Perón (New York, Doubleday, 1952).

18 See Costanzo, Francisco A., Evita. Alma inspiradora de la justicio social en América (Buenos Aires, 1948);Peralta, Jerónimo M., Semblanza heróica de Eva Perón (Buenos Aires, 1950);Presencia de Eva Perón (Buenos Aires, Subsecretaría de Informaciones de la Presidencia de la Nación, 1953) and Valenti, José C., Cuatro mujeres de la historia americana (Buenos Aires, 1951).

19 This statement can be applied in varying degrees to some works recently published: Borroni, Otelo, Vacca, Roberto, La vida de Eva Perón. Testimonios para su historia (Tomo I, Buenos Aires, Editorial Galerna, 1970);Sebreli, Juan José, Eva Perón ¿Aventurera o militante? (Buenos Aires, Editorial La Pleyade, 1971);de Martínez, Celina N. Paiva y María Rosa Pizzuto de Rivero, La verdad. Vida y obra de Eva Perón (Buenos Aires, Editorial Astral, 1967);Duarte, Arminda, Mi hermana Evita (Buenos Aires, Ediciones ‘Centro de Estudios Eva Perón’, 1972) and Paz, Carlos and Deutsch, Oscar, Eva Perón, peronismo para el socialismo (Buenos Aires, Ediciones del Mirador, 1974).

20 Luna, op. cit., pp. 337–8.

21 Perón, Eva, La razón de mi vida (Buenos Aires, Ediciones Peuser, 1951), p. 42.

22 See Perón, Eva, Historia del Peronismo (Buenos Aires, Editorial Freeland, 1951).

23 Colom, Eduardo, El 17 de octubre. La revolución de los descamisados (Buenos Aires, La Epoca, 1946).

24 A recent work by Abeijón, Carlos and Lafauci, Jorge Santos, La miujer argentina antes y después de Eva Perón (Buenos Aires, Editorial Cuarto Mundo, 1975), insists that Evita played a decisive role on 17 October and that she devised the plan for Perón's release together with Mercante.

25 Luna, op. cit., p. 246.

26 Interview with Petinato, Roberto, October 1974.

27 Interview with Dealessi, Pierina, November 1974.

28 Perelman, Angel, Cómo hicimos el 17 de Octubre (Buenos Aires, Editorial Coyoacán, 1961), p. 73.

29 Interview with Mariano Tedesco quoted in Otelo Borroni and Roberto Vacca, La vida de Eva Perón. Testimonios para su historia, op. cit., pp. 111–12.

30 Demorracia, 27 July 1952.

31 See ‘Little Eva,’ Time, 14 July 1947.

32 See ‘Eva Peron N. I Woman in Politics,’ U.S. News & World Report, 25 March 1949.

33 Cowles, op. cit., p. 160.

34 Alexander, op. cit., p. 104.

35 See p. 3.

36 Main, op. cit. p. 79.

37 Acossano, op. cit., p. 72.

38 The Times of London, 28 July 1952.

39 Perón, Eva, Historia del Peronismo, p. 180.

40 The myth of Perón's cowardice has had a long life. In 1972, it was still being used as a reason to explain why he would not return to Argentina from exile, if allowed to do so by President Alejandro Agustín Lanusse.

41 Franco, op. cit., p. 140.

42 Ghioldi, op. cit., p. 140;Estrada, Martínez, op. cit., p. 241.

Evita and the Crisis of 17 October 1945: A Case Study of Peronist and Anti-Peronist Mythology

  • Marysa Navarro

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