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CONCLUSION
Shining and Other Paths: The Origins, Dynamics,
and Legacies of War,
1980-1995
Steve
J.
Stern
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In the introductions to each of the five major parts of this col·
laborative book I sought to contextualize and draw out the implications of
the studies specific to each of the book's five major themes: the historical
roots of the political convulsion that overwhelmed Peru, the failed conquest
struggle by Sendero in the center-south highlands, the destruction of ap-
parent "third paths" in Lima and the highlands, women's war experience
and affirmation as citizen-subjects, and the legacies of the war for politics
and culture. Our hope, however, is that the whole of the collaborative work
is larger than the sum of its parts. As one steps back to consider this
book's cumulative interpretation of the origins, dynamics, and legacies of
the nightmare that convulsed Peru, several major conclusions stand out and
cut across specific book sections and essays.
First, we have argued that the Sendero Luminoso phenomenon must be viewed
as a force both "within" and "against" history.
The essays in Part I (de la
Cadena, Hinojosa, and Mallon) help us to conceptualize the roots of the Sen-
dero phenomenon as one logical culmination among several of the history
of highland and Left politics before the 1980s. These essays anchor the key
elements that would mark Shining Path within wider historical processes:
the turn toward a class-driven language of radicalism implicitly nourished
by racial and
de provincia
sensibilities, the appeal of Maoism within a Left
that differentiated itself from the Velasco revolution and took up mobiliza-
tion against the post-Velasco military regime, the activist experience of rural
political mobilization and disappointment that fed disgust with political
compromisers and "ignorant" Indians, and that fed belief in the necessity of
violent insurrection led by a vanguard.
The essays by Burt and Renique in Part
III
deepen our awareness of Sen-
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