Covering more than five hundred years of history, culture, and politics, The Lima Reader captures the multiple viewpoints of the diverse peoples of Peru’s capital city. The volume traces Lima’s transformation from a pre-Columbian religious center, to the colonial “City of Kings,” to today's vibrant and deeply divided metropolis of almost ten million people. A rich array of primary sources—including traveler accounts, essays, photographs, maps, poems, short stories, lyrics, and memoir excerpts, many appearing in English for the first time—address how Lima’s multiethnic population, class inequalities, and debates of who is a “true” limeño/a have evolved throughout the city’s history. The book also includes selections that explore Lima’s identity through its food, sports culture, festivals, and sense of humor. Intended for travelers, students, and scholars alike, The Lima Reader is an invaluable introduction to the complex social tensions and cultural history of Lima and its people.
I. Pre-Hispanic, Conquest, and Early Colonial Lima 7
II. Bourbon Lima 37
III. From Independence to the War of the Pacific (1821–1883) 67
IV. Modernizing Lima (1895–1940) 101
V. Interlude: Nostalgia and Its Discontents 143
VI. The Many Limas (1940–) 161
Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing 257
Acknowledgment of Copyrights and Sources 263
"Carlos Aguirre and Charles F. Walker, two leading scholars of Peru, bring their vast expertise to decoding one of this hemisphere’s great cities. Lima is an intriguing, intimidating, pulsing tangle of a metropolis at the desert’s gray ocean edge. The Lima Reader is the single best book for anyone seeking to understand the city in the almost dizzying impossibility of its remarkable history and culture."
Orin Starn, coeditor of
The Peru Reader
"The Lima Reader is the most helpful introduction to the Peruvian capital available in any language, and the most compelling since Sebastián Salazar Bondy's Lima the Horrible (1964). With a keen understanding of the city's history, demographic transformations, multiracial complexities, socioeconomic tensions, and insights of creative writers, Carlos Aguirre and Charles F. Walker present a rich gamut of historical, sociological, and literary documents whose satisfying whole is greater than its parts."
Efraín Kristal, University of California, Los Angeles
"A much-needed overview of the creation of this most important coastal city of the Andes. The Lima Reader presents a series of unpublished or not previously translated primary sources and excerpted literature that reveal the multiplicity of forces that converged to shape this contemporary metropolis. . . . An indispensable resource for the classroom and the road. The Lima Reader could greatly benefit the undergraduate survey class, provide critical information for the upper-level seminar, and be of assistance for the seasoned traveler seeking something much deeper than a generic tour guide."
Journal of Global South Studies
"Brings together an extraordinarily rich array of original sources. . . . The editors succeed admirably in selecting the best passages (and photographs) that can be found to represent the rich material and cultural tapestry that unfolds in the City of the Kings over the centuries."
Latin American Research Review
"A welcome addition to Duke University Press’s by now well-established and well-regarded Latin American Readers series . . . The editors manage to transmit in periodized, chronological order and kaleidoscopic detail, the city’s beguiling complexity and mystique. . . . An excellent introduction to the city."
Bulletin of Latin American Research