Synopses & Reviews
In 1984, indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchú published a harrowing account of life under a military dictatorship in Guatemala. That autobiography—I, Rigoberta Menchú
—transformed the study and understanding of modern Guatemalan history and brought its author international renown. She won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. At that point, she became the target of historians seeking to discredit her testimony and deny US complicity in the genocidal policies of the Guatemalan regime.
Told here is the story of an unlettered woman who became the spokesperson for her people and clashed with the intellectual apologists of the world’s most powerful nation. What happened to her autobiography speaks volumes about power, perception and race on the world stage. This critical companion to Menchú’s work will disabuse many readers of the lies that have been told about this courageous individual.
In 1984, Nobel Peace Prize–winner and indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchú published I, Rigoberta Menchú, her autobiographical account of life in Guatemala under a military dictatorship to great acclaim. The book rapidly transformed the study and understanding of modern Guatemalan history. Since then, her memoir has increasingly become a target for rightwing historians and commentators seeking to discredit Menchú’s account and to deny the genocide carried out by the Guatemalan military regime with US support. Greg Grandin, in this crucial accompaniment to Menchú’s work, takes on her critics to set the story straight. He investigates the historical context and political realities that underlie Menchú’s past and the ongoing debate surrounding it, in this substantial new work on Guatemalan history.
A leading radical historian investigates the accusations made against the author of bestselling memoir I, Rigoberta Menchú.
About the Author
Greg Grandin is the author of Empire’s Workshop, The Last Colonial Massacre, Who is Rigoberta Menchú?, the award-winning The Blood of Guatemala, and the 2009 National Book Awards finalist Fordlandia. A professor of history at New York University and a Guggenheim fellow, Grandin has served on the United Nations Truth Commission investigating the Guatemalan Civil War and has written for the Los Angeles Times, Nation, New Statesman, and New York Times.