Publicado originalmente en inglés, en 2014, el más reciente libro del historiador norteamericano Charles Walker ha suscitado gran interés en nuestro país, entre sus colegas y demás académicos, así como entre el público lector. Tanto así, que ya cuenta con una segunda edición en castellano, de formato “popular”. Continue reading
Hace unos días tuve el gusto, por partida doble, de estar en Guadalajara (México) y presentar la nueva edición de bolsillo de La rebelión de Tupac Amaru en la Feria Internacional del Libro que se llevó a cabo en dicha ciudad. La feria me dio la oportunidad de compartir el libro con colegas, amigos y público asistente, quienes no perdieron la oportunidad de preguntar por posibles paralelos entre Tupac Amaru, Micaela Bastidas y los héroes mexicanos Miguel Hidalgo y José Miguel Morelos.
In their introductions, Orin Starn and the late Carlos Iván Degregori use the terms “remarkable” and “exceptional” to refer to Lurgio Gavilán Sánchez and his memoir. This is not hyperbole. Gavilán joined the Shining Path as a twelve-year-old, fighting for three years. When members of the army trapped him on a bleak mountain peak, they took pity on the emaciated, lice-ridden teenager and at the last minute spared him from execution. He was brought into the barracks as a servant or errand boy but, showing his smarts and perseverance, impressed officers enough that they allowed him to become a soldier. This was not his last stunning transition. He left the military after seven years, just when he had a clear path to becoming an officer, to join the Franciscan order. Gavilán underwent the rigorous ordainment process only to leave the priesthood after a few years. He began to study anthropology and is currently a PhD candidate at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, where he wrote much of this memoir. It’s an astonishing autobiography, told with style and sensitivity, that illuminates much about late twentieth-century Peru.
The history of Tupac Amaru and his revolt against Spanish colonial order has been the subject of a good number of accounts. Historians focused on the colonial period and the demise of Spanish rule have often portrayed the so-called Great Rebellion as either a fruitless revolution or a pivotal departure moment for the subsequent process of independence. The literature on Tupac Amaru and the wider period of upheaval in colonial southern Peru is so vast it seems that there would be nothing truly novel to stress. Charles Walker has challenged this historiographical stagnation by providing new insights about the logistics, motives, and long-term consequences of the revolt for Indians, Spaniards, and everyone in between while offering, at the same time, a remarkably flawless narrative.
Uno de los argumentos principales en mi libro, La rebelión de Tupac Amaru, es que la iglesia tuvo un papel fundamental en la derrota de los insurgentes. En realidad, no fue la iglesia sino su represenante en Cusco, el Obispo Juan Manuel Moscoso y Peralta, quien diseñó una brillante y eficaz estrategia. Se basaba en mantener a los sacerdotes y sus asistentes en la “zona roja”, así dando alivio e información a los enemigos de la rebelión. Moscoso y Peralta sabía que José Gabriel Condorcanqui y Micaela Bastidas eran fieles que no iban a permitir la muerte de un cura. También excomulgó a Tupac Amaru, medida de gran impacto como explico en el libro.
El tema de la “gran rebelión” surandina de 1780-1783 ha retomado actualidad con la publicación del libro La Rebelión de Tupac Amaru (Lima: IEP, 2015), de Charles Walker. El autor ha optado por una historia narrativa (que presenta paso a paso el desarrollo de los sucesos, mostrando las incertidumbres de cada momento y evitando un análisis determinista), exponiendo de manera clara y crítica las interpretaciones sobre el movimiento rebelde (interpretaciones previas así como propias, aunque sin abundar en complicados debates historiográficos). Esta estrategia discursiva y analítica resulta más accesible a los lectores, que en el Perú de hoy parecen estar demandando conocer un pasado del cual todos creen saber algo, pero que no terminan de entender a cabalidad.
Charles F. Walker’s book is a vivid narrative history of the Tupac Amaru Rebellion (1780–82), which profoundly shook, but did not ultimately topple, the foundations of Spanish rule in the Andes. In its ability to make sense of an extremely complex, multifaceted movement without losing the thread of the larger story, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion can be compared with Laurent Dubois’s narrative history of the Haitian Revolution, Avengers of the New World (2004). Like Dubois, Walker skillfully analyzes the perspectives and motivations—as well as the shortcomings—of the movement’s principal leaders, while also considering what led indigenous people to join en masse.
Appreciated among Latin Americanists in the United States andhighly regarded in Chile, Arnold (“Arnie”) Bauer taught history at the University of California at Davis from 1970 to 2005, and was director of the University of California’s Education Abroad Program in Santiago, Chile, for five years between 1994 and 2005. Well-known for hisengaging writing style, Bauer reflects broad interests in his publications:agrarian history (Chilean Rural Society: From the Spanish Conquest to 1930 ), the Catholic Church and society (as editor, La iglesia en la economía de América Latina, siglos XIX–XIX ), and material culture (Goods, Power, History: Latin America’s Material Culture ). He has also written an academic mystery regarding a sixteenth-century Mexican codex, The Search for the Codex Cardona (2009). His coming-of-agememoir (Time’s Shadow: Remembering a Family Farm in Kansas ) describes his childhood and was recently named one of the top five books of 2012 by The Atlantic. He has also written some 50 articles and book chapters and more than 60 book reviews.
From late 1780 to 1782, indigenous uprisings convulsed Andean society from Cusco to Potosí, presenting the most significant challenge to Spanish rule in America between the conquest and independence. During the past half-century, the “Great Rebellion” of the Túpac Amarus in southern Peru and the Kataris in Bolivia has morphed from footnote to central narrative in Andean history, generating a substantial scholarship; it is now treated as a major anticolonial revolt in the Atlantic world’s age of revolution.
The Tupac Amaru movement, strictly understood as the rebellion led by Jose ́Condorcanqui, who went by the Inca royal name Tupac Amaru, and his relatives in southern Peru between Cuzco and Lake Titicaca from 1780 to 1783, was one of the best-kept secrets in Latin American history. The largest uprising of native peoples against European rule since the conquest era, it is an obligatory reference in any survey of Spanish colonialism, Peruvian history, and peasant or indigenous unrest. It has been also the object of intense historiographical scrutiny since at least the 1970s onward, following the impulses of consecutive waves of socioeconomic history, history of mentalities, structural anthropology, collective action theories, and the like. Tupac Amaru has become in due time a transnational political and cultural icon as well. His name figured prominently in late twentieth-century Latin American guerrilla groups, folk songs, and even the American rap scene. Even those who know nothing about the Andean past know something about the self-proclaimed new Inca.