As late as 1991, the Shining Path Maoist guerrilla movement had seemed to threaten the survival of the elected Peruvian government. The insurgency gained control of rural areas through a combination of persuasion and coercion, writes the anthropologist Kimberly Theidon in Intimate Enemies, a somber study of war’s aftermath. Mistrust and resentment still infect Peruvian society, yet there has been little violent score-settling in recent years. Still, given the psychic scars Theidon describes, her extremely valuable and moving account shows that the end of war does not necessarily bring anything resembling peace.
Excerpt from The Times Literary Supplement, January 2014, Roger Atwood