This project began as a panel on Argentine cultural history at the meet-
ing of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies in San José,
Costa Rica, in 2007. As we editors exchanged e-mail messages in the
months leading up to the conference, we realized that we had stumbled
upon an important historiographical trend: a generation of young histo-
rians of Argentina had begun to produce exciting new work on the
cultural aspects of the Peronist experience. Informed by recent trends in
Latin American historiography, this research had the potential to trans-
form our understanding of the period from 1946 to 1955, in many ways
the key turning point in Argentine history. Since this new interpretation-
in-progress was the work of several historians working independently, an
edited volume seemed the best way to have these scholars engage in a
dialogue and to introduce their work to a broad audience.
We would like to thank all the contributors to this book for their
willingness to participate in an extremely productive process of give and
take. We are grateful as well to Valerie Millholland at Duke University
Press for her enthusiastic support of the project and for an unending
stream of good advice. Both the University of Georgia and George
Mason University provided research and travel support, and a ‘‘Creative
Award’’ grant from George Mason University funded the translation of
the three chapters originally written in Spanish. Beatrice D. Gurwitz
produced excellent translations of these chapters under some very de-
manding time constraints. Two chapters were previously published in
Argentina: chapter 6 in Anahi Ballent, Las huellas de la política: vivienda,
ciudad, peronismo en Buenos Aires, 1943–1955 (Buenos Aires: Universidad
Nacional de Quilmes, 2006), and chapter 7 in Mirta Zaida Lobato, ed.,
Cuando las mujeres reinaban: belleza, virtud y poder en la Argentina del
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