This book originated when a group of faculty and students at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison began discussing the difficulty of
understanding the origins, social dynamics, and consequences of the politi-
cal agony that convulsed Peru in the 1980s and early 1990s. Frustration,
urgency, and opportunity all played roles in our discussions. The frustra-
tion emerged from a sense that our inherited knowledge and the available
intellectual frameworks were inadequate for achieving a deep, multifaceted
understanding. Urgency derived from the sense that Peru and Peruvians
had been living a great disaster and a decisive watershed period; these con-
ditions seemed to demand, almost as an ethical priority, that we mount an
effort to improve understanding and interpretation of Peru's recent history.
A sense of opportunity also emerged. A number of intellectuals and activ-
ists had "come of age," intellectually, during Peru's war years. Their field
knowledge and analytical flexibility, if integrated into a carefully designed
and multigenerational collaboration, might help develop the fresh knowl-
edge and analysis that seemed so urgent.
Out of these discussions emerged a planning group for an international
conference, entitled "Shining and Other Paths: Anatomy of a Peruvian
Tragedy, Prospects for a Peruvian Future." This conference was held at the
University of Wisconsin on 27-30 April 1995. We coordinated the con-
ference with student reading and research in experimental courses at the
graduate and undergraduate levels. Subsequently, the editor of this volume
worked intensively with conference authors to sharpen and integrate their
essays. In some instances, the rewriting process led to new or thoroughly re-
vamped essays. Our hope is that we have molded our efforts into an original
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