Cover of <I>Las Derechas</I> by Sandra McGee Deutsch
Las Derechas
The Extreme Right in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, 1890-1939
Sandra McGee Deutsch

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1999
512 pages.
from $31.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804732086
Paper ISBN: 9780804745994

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Despite its importance, the twentieth-century Latin American right has received little scholarly attention. This is the first book to explicitly compare extreme rightist organizations, ideas, and actions in different national settings in Latin America. Hardly an undifferentiated whole, the right in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile has changed over time and has contained moderate and extreme factions; the book's title, Las Derechas, emphasizes this diversity. The author focuses on extreme right-wing movements, showing how their class and gender composition, motives, programs, and activities varied over time and between countries.

To demonstrate the variety of thought and fluidity of positions within the far right, the author brings to life the many voices it contained: its highbrow and lowbrow figures, its male and female exponents, and its mass-circulation periodicals and more erudite literature. The depiction of rallies, social welfare projects, and brutal clashes with opponents also reveals the flavor of the radical right and the rich texture of its history. Although extreme right-wing movements defined themselves as masculine, some nevertheless recruited women; this is only one of the many contradictions between their ideology and actions.

Concentrating on domestic roots, the study shows how radical rightists incorporated local concerns, not simply European dogma, into their agendas. It explores their relations with the military, Catholic Church, government, labor, and other groups throughout the political spectrum. The ties of radical rightists to moderate rightists are of particular interest, for the ideological and tactical differences between the two factions tended to diminish during periods of crisis. The book concludes with an epilogue that traces radical rightist movements up to the present, demonstrating the importance of the analysis for understanding current conditions as well as the past.

About the author

Sandra McGee Deutsch is Professor of History at the University of Texas—El Paso.

"The deepest, most nuanced history of the complex tapestry that, superficially, is called the South American right. . . . Scholars from all language and national backgrounds should use it as the point of departure for future research. . . . This splendid, highly learned book will be the standard text for a decade at least."

American Historical Review