JOSH: So there are these two Indians in the lobby … C. J.: Yeah? (waiting for the punch line) JOSH: No, that's not the beginning of a joke. I'm saying, … there are these two Indians in the lobby.
Modernizers in Cuzco, Peru, ushered in the twentieth century by exalting newspapers as a universal vehicle for peace, prosperity, and progress. Although the city stood at more than 11,000 feet above sea level in the remote and rugged southern highlands, editors, public officials, and intellectuals were convinced that small but plentiful local newspapers contributed to a robust international public sphere. The writer who in 1910 lauded the press as die “aurora of salvation of the people” that “propagates itself through time and distance to keep redemptive thought alive” was hardly alone in his cosmopolitan idealism or emancipatory zeal. In the decades to come, a flood of pretentious self-tributes conveyed the idea that newspapers were almost divinely appointed to propagate a modern liberal project.