Rigoberta Mench and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans
This book is about a living legend, a young Guatemalan orphaned by government death squads who said that her odyssey from a Mayan Indian village to revolutionary exile was "the story of all poor Guatemalans." Published in the autobiographical "I, Rigoberta Menchu," her words drew world attention to the atrocities of the Guatemalan army and propelled her to the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize. By comparing a cult text with local testimony, Stoll raises troubling questions about the rebirth of the sacred in post-modern academe. Far from being innocent or moral, he argues, organizing scholarship around simplistic images of victimhood can be used to rationalize the creation of more victims. In challenging the accuracy of a widely hailed account of Third World oppression, this book goes to the heart of contemporary debates over political correctness and identity politics.